Cameron Morfit at Golf.Com has a good read on where we stand with the 2012 season. Here’s a couple of key paragraphs:
The next seven weeks will bring us a tournament played on a future-major championship course (Quail Hollow, 2017 PGA), a faux major (next week’s Players Championship) and a major (the U.S. Open at Olympic Club), which may begin to clear up what has been a muddled, if sometimes fascinating, 2012 season.
Mickelson’s triumphant final-round 64 when paired with Woods at Pebble Beach was spellbinding. McIlroy’s Houdini-esque scrambling to win the Honda Classic, even while Woods was conjuring a turn-back-the-clock 62 in front of him, was equally great theater.
All three hinted at a breakout season, but all three wilted in their last start at the Masters. Despite Bubba Watson’s mesmerizing escape from the trees, the Big Three’s big letdown left a feeling of unfinished business hanging over Augusta and the game. Mickelson’s triple-bogey 6 on the fourth hole Sunday was weird even for him. McIlroy had finished in the top five in 11 of 12 starts when, a shot off the lead through 36 holes, he burped up a third-round 77 and tied for 40th place. Woods never even broke par. Multiple publications had made the Woods-McIlroy duel a fait accompli, but it turned into a joke as Woods also tied for 40th. With his two superstar rivals out of the way, Mickelson beat himself. Sigh.
My own take is that we will look back on 2012—or perhaps the next couple of years—as a period of some of the most highly competitive golf we have ever seen. There won’t be a dominant player (or even two or three) because there is just too much talent. That won’t be big for the Big Golf Media narrative, but it’s great for real golf fans.