Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Irish Winning Majors 2012

How many majors will Irish golfers win this year? That was a question I asked recently, and after the successes of recent years it's no surprise that answers varied as much as they did. Based on comprehensive research from a total of 14 respondents, the results are as follows:

No Majors 28%
1 Major 50%
2 Majors 7%
More than 2 Majors 14%

I reckon Rory will pick up one, so I'm with the majority. If he wins the Masters then who knows... he could head to the Open Championship with two 2012 Majors under his belt. Following his slightly stroppy interview blaming the weather after finishing Tied 25th at Royal St. George's, he'll probably be doubly determined to perform well this year at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. Let's not forget that he holds the record of 61 at Royal Portrush, which he carded at the age of 16. He has no fear of links and while the weather might blow him off course, if the weather is half decent he'll be there or thereabouts over the weekend.

Padraig winning seems highly unlikely due to his erratic displays over the last couple of years. He always seems to be working on something to do with his game, and not just playing the game itself. He's shown he still has what it takes, but his consistency has deserted him and his scoring on par fives makes for worrying reading.

G-Mac has had an interesting time of it. He blew a couple of good leads last year, delivering terrible rounds that knocked him right out of contention. That must be a concern and it is something he has exhibited before (his 79 in the final round of the 2006 US Open for example). Perhaps the thought of the Ryder Cup will inspire him this year. I doubt he'll win a Major in 2012, but a couple of wins anywhere will be all he needs going to Medinah Country Club. And if those wins come early enough, he might well see himself in contention on the last day of something big.

Darren Clarke got the win he wanted last year. Against the odds, too. He might win again, but he's just going to enjoy himself from now on, happy in the knowledge that he won the big one. He's always had that laid back air, and that's what makes him so popular.

Who else is there? Lowry, McGrane, Lawrie, Hoey, Maybin, Thornton, McGinley. I want Lowry to win this year. He has the talent, if not the most reliable putting statistics, and he shows bursts of form. All in all though, a couple of wins from this group would be a big success for Ireland. And wouldn't it be great to see Paul Cutler appearing on a leaderboard?

Realistically, it's all about Rory. He's shown already this year that shooting low is no problem, but closing out has been more of a challenge at the two big events. Then again, the same can be said of Tiger at the moment... and we all know what he's capable of.

So I'm sticking with one Irish Major winner in 2012. But I'm not putting money on it.

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