One New Year's Resolution for Each Top 10 Player in World Rankings
Everybody makes New Year's resolutions as the calendar changes. Lose weight, save more, go to church more often—there are many popular options.
Professional golfers aren't immune to such things, even though most probably wouldn't admit to it.
Since they won't tell you, I took it upon myself to put together a list of resolutions for each of the top 10 golfers on the Official Golf World Rankings.
Here they are.
Resolution: More majors, please.
While the world waits for McIlroy to get off to a flying start on the path toward Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, the 23-year-old will resolve to get his game ready for the four majors this year.
It’s a tactic used successfully by Tiger Woods and one that will serve McIlroy well if his goals are the same.
Resolution: Find some intestinal fortitude when in contention in major championships.
Luke Donald's best finish in a major was a tie for third in the 2006 PGA Championship. He missed the cut in the 2012 Open Championship.
He was No. 1 in the world for a time and goes into 2013 as a guy who needs to validate his place in the golf hierarchy.
Resolution: Find a way to close the deal.
Addressing what appears to be the most serious deficiency in his game, the lost ability to close out the deal on the weekends, would be Tiger Woods' biggest New Year's resolution.
Once almost a lock to close out any tournament he led after 54 holes, Woods led three of four majors in 2012, but couldn’t put any of them away.
His quest to break Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors could have been nearly complete had he played better on the weekends this year.
Resolution: Improve putting
Justin Rose has had three really good years in a row on the PGA Tour. At 32 years old, he's ready to step up and win his first major.
He’s played in 60 major championships in his career. His best finish came in the final major of the year, the PGA Championship.
Despite making $4,290,930 in 2012, Rose’s resolution is to figure out what’s going on with his flat stick. In the strokes gained-putting category, he ranked 128th.
Resolution: Become mentally stronger, and learn from mistakes
Adam Scott's gut-wrenching final four holes of the 2012 Open Championship, all of which he bogeyed, resulted from a combination of bad decision-making and the inability to make good swings under pressure.
Get those two areas in better shape, and Scott is definitely good enough to win his first major.
Resolution: Search for consistency
Louis Oosthuizen needs to make a search for consistency his No. 1 goal for the 2013 season.
After winning the 2010 Open Championship, his play dropped considerably, leading him to miss five cuts in 15 starts in 2011.
He came back with a solid year in 2012, registering five top 10s and losing the Masters in a playoff to Bubba Watson.
He obviously has plenty of game, but needs to avoid that swoon that has kept him from moving up with the game’s best players.
Resolution: Learn the short game
Lee Westwood resolves to find a good short-game teacher and learn how to play the game like a professional from 100 yards to the green.
He was 191st in scrambling in 2012 on the PGA Tour—dead last in that category.
Westwood has been a marginal contender in golf’s majors, but has been marginal only because of his non-professional short game.
He is as good a ball-striker as there is in professional golf, but that's not enough to overcome those short-game deficiencies.
Resolution: Be more comfortable as a major champion
Bubba Watson needs to find a way to deal with the old saying “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
Watson won the Masters in April with a screaming hooked wedge from the right trees on the 10th fairway that led to the playoff victory over Louis Oosthuizen. Then not much was heard from him until the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup, where he played fairly well.
No one knows whether Watson has a goal of becoming a member of golf’s elite, but he needs to learn to handle all that goes along with the green jacket.
Resolution: Eliminate that one bad round.
The guy from Cleveland, Ohio, had a marvelous season on the PGA Tour, winning twice, finishing second once and earning over $4 million.
His New Year’s resolution will be to find a way to get rid of that one round in each of the majors that has kept him from taking an even bigger step upward after his second and third PGA Tour wins in 2012.
He had one top 10 in the four majors this year (T4 at the Masters) but struggled in the others with that one bad round.
Resolution: Become an even better player in 2013, and help more people.
Brandt Snedeker was one of the feel-good stories on the PGA Tour in 2012, winning twice including the season-ending Tour Championship.
He immediately began talking about what he and his wife would do to help others with some of the $10 million bonus from winning the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Snedeker’s New Year’s resolution will be two-fold: helping more and more people in need, and making sure he focuses on becoming an even better player in 2013.
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