The Americans Lost the Ryder Cup to the Euros AGAIN!!
The golf world witnessed some great golf and experienced the thrill of one of the best years in golf history.
Rory McIlroy showed us a glimpse of his talent and ascended to the No. 1 spot in the golf rankings. Ernie Els won his fourth major title.
Stacy Lewis became the first American woman to win the LPGA Player of the Year award since 1994.
The Ryder Cup at Medinah was spectacular and touched all sports fans.
But like any sporting endeavor, there are also some disappointing moments throughout the year that we would be remiss if we failed to mention them.
Here are some of the year's biggest golf disappointments.
Phil Mickelson and Team USA were left wondering, What Happened?
USA Team Captain Davis Love touched all of the bases, said all the right things and had a powerful team, but in the end, the result was the same. The Europeans retained the Ryder Cup in 2012.
The biggest golf story of 2012 was the Ryder Cup that was held at Medinah Country Club in Chicago. Both teams were loaded with world-class talent, and players on both teams were playing their best golf coming into the Ryder Cup.
The disappointing part was that the Americans, even though they had forged a four-point lead heading into the singles matches on Sunday, failed to win the 4.5 points they needed to snatch the cup away from the Europeans.
The USA Team was made up of a great mix of young and veteran talent. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson had won major titles in 2012. Tiger Woods had three wins during the year, and even Phil Mickelson had a strong year.
The Americans and Davis Love were left scratching their heads once again as they watched the Euros dance, drink and sing all the way back to the continent.
Tiger had three wins but no major victories in 2012
Tiger Woods appeared to be regaining his dominating form for the most part in 2012. He did have three regular tour wins, but failed to win a major title.
The last major that Tiger won was the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. He will turn 37 years old on December 30. Time is beginning to be a factor in his goal to reach 19 major titles in his career.
Tiger failed to perform on the weekends in the major events in 2012. Under pressure, his short game seemed to let him down.
He finished T-40 in the Masters and was never a factor. He led the U.S. Open after 36 holes at Olympic Club, but played poorly on the weekend. He was a factor at Royal Lytham in the Open Championship until a triple-bogey seven on No. 16 on Sunday proved to be too much to overcome.
He shot 69-71 and was in contention after 36 holes in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. Again, he faltered on the weekend, failing to break par and finished T-11.
His three wins came on quality golf courses, the Palmer at Bay Hill, the Memorial at Muirfield Village and the AT&T National at Congressional.
Don't forget he also turned in one of his all-time low rounds on tour, a 62 in the Honda on Sunday trying to chase down Rory McIlroy.
In the end, it is one more year with no major trophies.
Jim Furyk had some disappointing moments in 2012
Jim Furyk had a great season in 2012, but it could have been a whole lot better.
He had two runner-ups, eight top 10's, 14 top 25's, made $3.6 million and finished No. 17 in the FedEx Cup. That is a very strong year for anyone, especially a 42-year-old professional golfer.
One of his biggest disappointments came in the U.S. Open at Olympic Club. He had ground out a lead after 54 holes and was trying to get his second U.S. Open trophy.
Olympic Club was playing brutally difficult. Par was the all-important number.
His first three rounds of 70-69-70 had him at one-under par and playing in the last group with Graeme McDowell on Sunday. Furyk did not have his A-game in the last round, but he continued to fight and claw his way around the golf course.
A snipe-hook off No. 16 tee resulted in a bogey on the only birdie possibility on the back nine. Another bogey at No. 18 moved him to a four-over par 74 for the final round, and he finished three shots behind the winner, Webb Simpson.
It was very uncharacteristic to see Furyk hit such a wayward shot on No. 16, and it showed the tremendous pressure that is on even the most seasoned players in a major championship.
Furyk also lost in a four-man playoff at the Transitions Championship in March to finish T-2.
He was a captain's pick for the 2012 Ryder Cup team and only collected one point in three matches for Davis Love. He had a grueling singles match with Sergio Garcia, but in the end, lost 1-up to the European.
Jim Furyk had a very good year in 2012, but if you asked him, I'll bet he will say he was just a little disappointed with some of it.
Yani Tseng is still No. 1 but but Na Yeon Choi and Stacy Lewis are gaing ground
Yani Tseng did have 11 top 10's and three wins on the LPGA in 2012. She finished No. 4 on the LPGA money list with $1.4 million in earnings.
Her three wins all came at the beginning of the season, and she missed three cuts and didn't have a top-10 finish for over 2.5 months through the middle of the year.
She has held the No. 1 position on the Rolex Rankings for 97 weeks, but Na Yeon Choi and Stacy Lewis have narrowed the gap. Either could easily overtake Tseng if she struggles at the beginning of 2013.
Over the past three years, Yani has won 13 LPGA events. Four of those were majors.
After becoming the youngest golfer ever to win five majors, she failed to win a major in 2012.
Her record in the majors last year was not very remarkable. She managed a third in the first major of the year at the Kraft Nabisco. She was T-50 in the LPGA Championship, T-50 in the U.S. Women's Open and T-26 in the Women's British Open.
Yani Tseng is still the No. 1 women's golfer in the world, but her struggles in 2012 were very disappointing.
Both Luke Donald and Lee Westwood have failed to win a major title
Luke Donald was the No. 1 ranked player in the world for 56 weeks. He is currently at No. 2 behind Rory McIlroy and one spot ahead of Tiger Woods.
Lee Westwood was ranked No. 1 for 22 weeks and has fallen to No. 7 on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Neither have a major trophy sitting above their fireplace.
Donald won the money titles on both the PGA and the European Tours in 2011. He dedicated his entire schedule and game to winning a major in 2012.
He did win the Transitions on the PGA Tour in March, had eight top 10's and earned $3.5 million. He also won the BMW Championship on the European Tour.
Donald had a T-5 at the Open Championship, but was T-32 in both the Maters and the PGA Championship and missed the cut entirely in the U.S. Open.
Westwood has 22 European Tour wins in his career. He only has two wins on the PGA Tour, and none since the 2010 St. Jude.
He will turn 40 years old in April, and the clock is ticking for him to get his major. His buddy, Darren Clarke, won the 2011 Open Championship at age 42, and Ernie Els won his fourth major at age 42 last year.
In an effort to improve his chances of winning a major, Westy will play more in the U.S. in 2013 and has even moved his family to Florida.
Westwood still has time, but the pressure is definitely building. He certainly does not want to end up like Monty with no major titles in an otherwise Hall of Fame career.
Na Yeon Choi won the U.S. Women's Open
The LPGA has become a truly international tour. It hosts tournaments in Asia, South America, Mexico, Scotland, Europe, Canada and Australia.
Nineteen of the 31 LPGA tournaments held in 2012 were won by international players. All four LPGA majors were won by internationals. Sun Young Yoo won the Kraft Nabisco, Na Yeon Choi won the U.S. Women's Open, Shanshan Feng won the LPGA Championship and Jiyai Shin won the British Women's Championship.
Economic conditions in the United States have forced the LPGA to find sponsors from various parts of the world to host events.
This world exposure has encouraged young women from international countries to hone their game to make it to the bright lights of the LPGA Tour. Thirty-seven of the top 100 women players in the world are from Korea alone.
One bright light in 2012 was that Stacy Lewis won four events on the LPGA and collected Player of theYear honors. She is the first American lady to win the LPGA POY since Beth Daniel in 1994.
Michael Whan and the staff at the LPGA have done a remarkable job of adding new events to the LPGA season during difficult economic times and are to be commended.
It is disappointing that Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Christie Kerr, Morgan Pressel and a few other of the American women can't seem to find the winners circle a little more often.
Michelle Wie was not a factor on the LPGA in 2012
Michelle Wie graduated from Stanford in May, 2012. Golf fans everywhere hoped that she would finally be able to devote her attention to her golf game and become a force in women's golf.
She only had one top-10 finish on the 2012 LPGA Tour and earned a whopping $158,546. She has dropped to No 58 in the Rolex Rankings and finished the year at No. 64 on the LPGA money list.
Wie missed 10 cuts in 23 starts last year. How does a player with her talent perform so poorly?
Here are some numbers that tell the story of her year. She was ranked No. 10 in driving distance, but No. 341 in driving accuracy.
She finished the year ranked No. 221 in putts per green in regulation and No. 256 in putting average.
Wie seems to have lost all confidence on the greens, and her entire game has suffered.
Michelle, you may want to consider changing coaches and playing strategy. What you have been doing is not working for you.
Mike Davis of the USGA in happier times.
The USGA and the R&A announced a proposed rule change that would ban an "anchored stroke."
Essentially, it would make the use of belly putters and long putters that are anchored to the chest or chin illegal.
Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els have won major titles using belly putters. Kids all over the world are mimicking them and learning to use the long putter.
Does the "anchored stroke" give a player an advantage over another player? If it does, why doesn't everyone switch?
Can the long putter help golfers with physical handicaps enjoy the game?
Why have the USGA and the R&A waited 30 years to make a ruling on this issue?
They have raised a firestorm in the media, and golfers everywhere are weighing in on the "anchored stroke" issue.
It has clearly divided golf, and it is somewhat disappointing to have this type of controversy.
Tim Finchem announced a change to the Q-School process in 2012
The PGA Tour is constantly looking to improve the tour and increase the prize money available for touring professionals.
With the addition of the six Fall Series events, Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour staff have added $36 million in prize money available to the pros.
These six Fall Series events held in October and November will also be the start of the 2014 season.
One of the casualties of the new scheduling is the demise of PGA Tour Q-School as we know it.
Over the years, Q-School has provided the most grueling golf competition that any player has ever endeavored to play. It has given us the the ultimate rags-to-riches story.
Every year, some unknown player has earned his tour card via Q-School and has gone on to make a name for himself on the PGA Tour. For example, John Huh earned his card in the 2011 Q-School and went on to win on tour in 2012.
Q-School will be held in 2013, but it will only give exemptions onto the Web.com Tour. Players can only earn a PGA Tour card through an apprenticeship through that tour.
There have been some great Q-School stories that will fade into golf lore.
It is disappointing that Q-School will not have the same look and gut-wrenching drama that it has given us over the years.
Steve Stricker won the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions
I love watching the beautiful pictures from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions that opens every golf season from Hawaii.
The problem is that the best golfers don't bother to show up to the exclusive no-cut event.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson won't bother to jump on the jet and play golf in paradise, even for guaranteed money.
The PGA Tour has compressed so much important golf into June, July and August that the best players have to get their downtime in January.
NASCAR starts their season with the Daytona 500. Golf feels that it can't compete with NFL football in January. If you have a big enough event and pay enough money, they will come.
If the tour moved one of the WGC events to Hawaii in January, it would draw a top-notch field and get the golf season off to a thunderous start.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs provide a crescendo to the end of the tour's season. The new Fall Series will officially start the new year, but it still will not provide a big bang.
When you have a beautiful setting like Hawaii, it seems that the PGA Tour could do more with it.
Especially when most of the golf fans in the United States are covered in snow.