Bamberger: One moment that got very little attention, really, was Tiger's missing the last putt at the Ryder Cup. People wrote it off as meaningless because the Americans couldn't win the Cup, but the putt wasn't meaningless.
Garrity: You're right about that putt's importance, Michael. I say that because one of us predicted a Ryder Cup tie in our preview issue, and I was gloating in the pressroom until Tiger missed.
Shipnuck: That last scene was a window into the souls of Tiger, Francesco Molinari and José María Olazábal. Tiger's explanation that he was thinking, Who cares? It wasn't a big deal, was presumptuous and a little selfish. I'm sure a lot of guys on the U.S. team would have preferred a tie.
Bamberger: Who really knows what was in Tiger's head? This isn't fair to say, but instinctively I felt what he did wasn't an act of graciousness, it was an act of red-assed-ness. As in, I'm not going to stand here and watch a guy possibly miss a putt, because I'm Tiger Woods and that's not how my matches end.
The Year That Was
Van Sickle: Besides Rory and Tiger, what else was significant? Anyone who says the FedEx Cup will be flogged.
Shipnuck: How about Stacy Lewis being the LPGA Player of the Year? In a more just world, she'd be SI's Sportsperson of the Year. To be in a back brace years ago, think you're never going to play golf and then win that award during a time of Asian domination in women's golf—that's amazing. Stacy is a breath of fresh air. She hasn't gotten enough attention.
Bamberger: I absolutely agree. What John said earlier was important too. The theme for 2012 was, No lead is safe. It was a reminder that as the modern swing gets closer to technical perfection, golf still comes down to holding it together mentally. There's no video lesson for that.
Garrity: The no-lead-is-safe theme applies even to acknowledged dominance. On the LPGA, Yani Tseng's performance was so remarkable and overpowering that we all shared the belief that she'd be a commanding presence for years to come. Six months later she was practically an afterthought.
Bamberger: Even Rory had a weird run of bad play for 10 weeks after he held off Tiger at the Honda in March.