Sport | Golf

A cutabove: Mickelson too good to be outside top five

  • By Jeev Milkha Singh, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 January 4, 2012
  • Gulf News

Not without reason, but I get a feeling that no one is looking beyond Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and the resurgent former world number one Tiger Woods when talking about the prospects for the new season.

These five players showed great form in the closing weeks of 2011, so it is logical to think that they will dominate proceedings, at least in the first half of the season.

However, I'd like to talk about a few others who should dazzle in 2012.

Foremost on that list would be Phil Mickelson. The American had a terrible year by his own high standards and, apart from the Shell Houston Open win and the second place at the Open Championship, nothing went right for him, especially the second half of the season, as he fell to number 14 in the world rankings.

More than anything else, I thought Mickelson struggled a bit with his putter. But he is way too good to be outside the top-five of the world and I am sure he will make a strong start to the season — as he always seems to do — and bounce back.

The second guy on my list would be Jason Day. The Australian has made a determined move inside the top ten of the world ranking in 2011, and his overall game is so strong, I think the only way ahead for him is upward in the rankings. He had some strong finishes in the Majors and other big tournaments throughout the season and, along with Westwood, Donald and Sergio Garcia, he is one guy who deserves to win a Major.

Talking of Garcia, I see no reason why he shouldn't win a few tournaments this year. The Spaniard looked in fine touch towards the end of the season — winning back-to-back events on the European Tour in Spain — and I think it is only a matter of time before he wins a big one.

 

Jeev Milkha Singh is a three-time champion on the European Tour

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