Pundits are rarely held accountable for their predictions, and that’s a good thing – for them. Otherwise, CBS and the Golf Channel would have slapped a double-suspension on David Feherty for picking Sergio Garcia to win the Open Championship.
Not the 2002 Open. Not 2006. This year.
Seriously, Sergio? Was it a coin flip between him and David Duval? Nice call, Feherty. Good thing you’re so darn funny.
It’s not just sports yackers who get a free pass. Exhibit A: Political analyst Mark Halperin, who all but anointed Jon Huntsman the next President of the USA at the start of the Republican primary — the latest in a years-long stretch of Halperin head-scratchers.
Well, I hold myself to a higher standard. Therefore, I’m risking pride and reputation (ha!) by revisiting my forecast for the 2012 golf season, made back in January elsewhere on the web.
Mainly, I’m curious to see if I’m as bad as my highly paid colleagues at peering into the future. Of course, there’s golf left to play, but with the majors over, I’m comfortable assessing my performance in mid-August.
Let’s go to the video:
Prediction: Tiger Woods wins more than once – including a major.
Verdict: Half right. By anyone else’s standards, Tiger’s 2012 would be a smashing success. Three victories to date, all in high-profile events. Quasi-contender status in three majors. Leading money winner, Ryder Cup berth, etc, etc.
And all anyone wants to know – me included – is whether Tiger’s got it in him to win one more major, let alone the five needed to pass Jack Nicklaus.
Prediction: Multiple wins and a major for Jason Day.
Verdict: Jason who? The talented young Aussie has been largely MIA.
Prediction: Matt Kuchar claims his first major.
Verdict: Is The Players a major yet?
Prediction: The fourth Grand Slam title goes to a journeyman to be named later.
Verdict: Fail. Rory McIlroy is to journeymen as I am to Pulitzer winners.
Prediction: Rory McIlroy ascends to the top of the world rankings.
Verdict: Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! He actually achieved this feat three times, gaining the No. 1 spot in March, losing it after his Masters meltdown, snatching it back from Luke Donald briefly in May, then reclaiming it with an eight-shot triumph at the PGA. Methinks the young lad’ll hold it for a while now.
Prediction: John Daly makes an arse of himself at least three times.
Verdict: I’m happy to report that this did not come to pass. At least not in public.
Prediction: Steve Williams keeps his mouth shut.
Verdict: Another fortunate whiff on my part.
Prediction: Phil Mickelson wins using a belly putter and a conventional flat stick. In the same round.
Verdict: How many events are left in the season?
Prediction: Sergio Garcia starts a tournament with a long putter, snaps it over his knee during round two, then uses the bottom half en route to victory.
Verdict: Hey, it was just as likely as Garcia winning the Open.
Prediction: Lee Westwood and Luke Donald come up short in the majors.
Verdict: Another hit. Then again, even Halperin could have made that call. Can you say “fish in a barrel”?
Prediction: Westwood cures his left arm “chicken wing,” never breaks 80 again.
Verdict: Apparently I was in a silly mood that day.
Prediction: Keegan Bradley fails to duplicate his stellar rookie results.
Verdict: I could claim to be right on this one, since Bradley didn’t follow up with a second major. But with a victory at the WGC-Bridgestone and a guaranteed Ryder Cup spot, he’s got nothing to apologize for. Well done.
Prediction: In a post-round interview, an elated winner credits his new TaylorMade RocketBallz driver. The FCC levies a $10,000 fine for obscene language.
Verdict: Give it time.
Daniel Mitchell is a golf writer and Golf-Newz.com contributor who lives in Jupiter, Fla., a few miles from Tiger Woods as the crow flies but worlds away in every other respect. An avid golfer since age 12, Mitchell carries a (shaky) single-digit handicap, investing far more time in his dogs than his swing.
You can read his regular musings at a-gamegolfblog.blogspot.com