2012 in golf
This article summarizes the highlights of professional and amateur golf in the year 2012.
Men's professional golf 
- 5–8 April: The Masters – American Bubba Watson defeated South African Louis Oosthuizen on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to earn his first major championship.
- 14–17 June: U.S. Open – American Webb Simpson won by one stroke over Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson.
- 19–22 July: The Open Championship – South African Ernie Els won his fourth major by one stroke over Australian Adam Scott.
- 9–12 August: PGA Championship – Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy won his second major, at the age of 23. His eight-shot win over England's David Lynn was the largest victory margin in the championship's stroke-play era. McIlroy also returned to number 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
- 22–26 February: WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship – American Hunter Mahan won his second WGC tournament, beating Rory McIlroy 2&1. McIlroy would have risen to number 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking if he had won.
- 8–11 March WGC-Cadillac Championship – England's Justin Rose won his first WGC tournament by one stroke over American Bubba Watson.
- 2–5 August: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – American Keegan Bradley won by one stroke over compatriots Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker.
- 1–4 November: WGC-HSBC Champions – England's Ian Poulter won his second career WGC by two strokes over four others.
- 23–26 August: The Barclays – American Nick Watney won by three shots over countryman Brandt Snedeker.
- 31 August – 3 September: Deutsche Bank Championship – Rory McIlroy won by one shot over Louis Oosthuizen.
- 6–9 September: BMW Championship – McIlroy won by two shots over Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood.
- 20–23 September: Tour Championship – American Brandt Snedeker won the tournament (and the FedEx Cup) by three shots over Justin Rose.
Other leading PGA Tour events
For a complete list of PGA Tour results see 2012 PGA Tour.
Leading European Tour events
- 24–27 May: BMW PGA Championship – Englishman Luke Donald won for the second straight year and again became the World Ranking Number 1.
- 22–25 November: DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – World #1 Rory McIlroy won his 5th European Tour title by two strokes, tying the tournament record of –23 set by Lee Westwood in 2009.
For a complete list of European Tour results see 2012 European Tour.
- 28–30 September: Ryder Cup – Team Europe retained the Cup, 14½–13½, after having been down 10–6 to Team USA after Saturday play. This equaled the previous record fot the largest final-day comeback in Ryder Cup history, when Team USA came back from the same deficit in 1999.
- 14–16 December: Royal Trophy –
- PGA Tour – Rory McIlroy (US$8,047,952)
- This total does not include FedEx Cup bonuses.
- European Tour – Rory McIlroy (€5,519,118)
- This total includes the US$1.0 million (€781,091) bonus for winning the Race to Dubai.
- Japan Golf Tour – Hiroyuki Fujita (¥175,159,972)
- Asian Tour – Thaworn Wiratchant (US$738,047)
- PGA Tour of Australasia – Peter Senior (A$268,292)
- Sunshine Tour – Branden Grace (R2,760,319)
- OneAsia Tour – Bi-o Kim (US$380,745)
- Tour de las Américas – Marco Ruiz (26,884 points)
- PGA Tour Latinoamérica – Ariel Cañete (US$91,396)
- PGA Tour
- FedEx Cup – Brandt Snedeker won the FedEx Cup after winning the Tour Championship.
- PGA Player of the Year – Rory McIlroy
- Player of the Year (Jack Nicklaus Trophy) – Rory McIlroy
- Leading money winner (Arnold Palmer Award) – Rory McIlroy (US$8,047,952)
- Vardon Trophy – Rory McIlroy
- Byron Nelson Award – Rory McIlroy
- Rookie of the Year – John Huh
- Comeback Player of the Year – None
- Payne Stewart Award – Steve Stricker
- European Tour
- Web.com Tour
Other tour results
- 2012 Asian Tour
- 2012 PGA Tour of Australasia
- 2012 Canadian Tour
- 2012 Challenge Tour
- 2012 Japan Golf Tour
- 2012 Web.com Tour
- 2012 OneAsia Tour
- 2012 Sunshine Tour
- 2012 Tour de las Américas
- 2012 PGA Tour Latinoamérica
- 4 March – Rory McIlroy became number one in the Official World Golf Ranking after winning The Honda Classic.
- 18 March – Luke Donald re-took the number one spot after winning the Transitions Championship.
- 20 March – The PGA Tour announced changes to its season structure and qualifying to take effect in 2013. Among the changes, as announced at that time:
- The 2013 season will be the last to be conducted completely within a calendar year. The 2014 season will begin in October 2013, shortly after The Tour Championship, and all future seasons will begin in October of the previous calendar year.
- The 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, also known as "Q-School", will be the last to award playing privileges on the PGA Tour. Beginning in 2013, Q-School will only grant privileges on the Web.com Tour (known at the time as the Nationwide Tour).
- Starting in 2013, PGA Tour cards for the following season will be awarded at the end of a three-tournament series featuring the top 75 money winners on the Web.com Tour and the golfers finishing between 126 and 200 on the PGA Tour money list.
- 15 April – McIlroy returns to the number one spot in the world rankings.
- 29 April – Donald returns to the number one spot in the world rankings.
- 6 May – McIlroy returns to the number one spot in the world rankings.
- 27 May – Donald returns to the number one spot in the world rankings.
- 26 June – The PGA Tour announces further details regarding its recently announced major schedule changes. Starting in fall 2013, the tournaments in the Fall Series, which will become the season-opening events at that time, will become FedEx Cup events, with full Cup points, for the first time.
- 28 June – The PGA Tour's developmental tour, the Nationwide Tour, was renamed mid-season as the Web.com Tour, after a new sponsorship deal was announced.
- 10 July – The PGA Tour announces final details of its major schedule changes.
- In a change from the original announcement in March, the money list will no longer determine which PGA Tour members retain their cards. Starting with the 2013 season, the top 125 golfers in FedEx Cup points will retain their cards.
- The three-tournament series that will award new PGA Tour cards will be called the Web.com Tour Finals. The top 75 players on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list, plus the golfers between 126 and 200 in FedEx Cup points, will be eligible to play.
- The top 25 on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list will receive PGA Tour cards regardless of their performance in the Web.com Tour Finals. The total money earned in the Finals will determine the remaining 25 card earners. For all 50 new card earners, their positions on the PGA Tour's priority order for purposes of tournament entry will be based on money earned in the Finals.
- 12 August – McIlroy returns to the number one spot in the world rankings by winning the PGA Championship.
- 5 September – The first tournament of the PGA Tour Latinoamérica is played, replacing the Tour de las Américas as the primary tour in Latin America.
- 11 September – The PGA Tour announces that for the 2013 season only, due to the transition to a wraparound season, golfers who finish in the top 125 of either the FedEx Cup points list or the season money list will retain their tour cards for the 2014 season.
- 18 October – The PGA Tour and the Canadian Professional Golf Tour jointly announce an agreement by which the PGA Tour would take over the Canadian circuit, effective 1 November. At that time, the Canadian Tour would be officially renamed as PGA Tour Canada.
- 18 November – Miguel Ángel Jiménez becomes the oldest golfer ever to win a European Tour event, winning the UBS Hong Kong Open at age 48 years, 318 days.
Women's professional golf 
- 29 March – 1 April: Kraft Nabisco Championship – South Korea's Sun-Young Yoo defeated fellow Korean I.K. Kim on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to earn her first major championship. Kim had missed a tap-in on the 72nd hole that would have given her the title.
- 7–10 June: Wegmans LPGA Championship – China's Shanshan Feng won by two strokes over four other golfers. She became the first major winner from China.
- 5–8 July: U.S. Women's Open – Na Yeon Choi of South Korea won her first major championship by a four-stroke margin over fellow Korean Amy Yang.
- 13–16 September: Women's British Open – South Korea's Jiyai Shin won her second Open, also her second major, by a tournament-record nine shots over fellow Korean Inbee Park.
Ladies European Tour major (in addition to the Women's British Open)
- 26–29 July: Evian Masters – South Korean Inbee Park won her second LPGA title by two strokes over Karrie Webb and Stacy Lewis.
For a complete list of Ladies European Tour results see 2012 Ladies European Tour.
Additional LPGA Tour events
- 15–18 November: CME Group Titleholders – South Korean Na Yeon Choi claimed her seventh career LPGA title by two shots over fellow Korean So Yeon Ryu.
For a complete list of LPGA Tour results, see 2012 LPGA Tour.
Money list leaders
- LPGA Tour – Inbee Park (US$2,266,638)
- LPGA of Japan Tour – Jeon Mi-jeong (¥131,827,582)
- Ladies European Tour – Carlota Ciganda (€251,290)
- LPGA of Korea Tour – Kim Ha-Neul (₩458,898,803)
- Ladies Asian Golf Tour – Patcharachuta Kongkapan (US$87,966)
- ALPG Tour – Lindsey Wright (A$70,067) (2011/12 season)
- Symetra Tour – Esther Choe (US$55,690)
- LPGA Tour Player of the Year – Stacy Lewis
- LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year – So Yeon Ryu
- LPGA Tour Vare Trophy – Inbee Park
- LET Rookie of the Year – Carlota Ciganda
Other tour results
- 29 January – Lydia Ko, a 14-year-old New Zealand amateur, won the Bing Lee Samsung Women's NSW Open on the ALPG Tour, becoming the youngest player of either sex to win a professional tour event.
- 13 June – Brooke Henderson, a 14-year-old Canadian amateur, won the second stop on the Canadian Women's Tour, breaking Ko's previous record as the youngest person ever to win a professional tour event.
- 26 August – Ko, now 15, won the CN Canadian Women's Open, becoming the youngest player ever to win an LPGA Tour event and the first amateur to win on that tour since JoAnne Carner in 1969.
- 10 September – Jiyai Shin defeated Paula Creamer on the ninth hole of a sudden-death playoff, the longest between two players in LPGA history, to win the Kingsmill Championship. The playoff was suspended due to darkness after eight holes on Sunday evening, and resumed the following day.
Senior men's professional golf 
- 24–27 May: Senior Players Championship – England's Roger Chapman won his first senior major by two strokes over American John Cook.
- 7–10 June: Regions Tradition – American Tom Lehman won his second straight Tradition, and third senior major, by two strokes over Germany's Bernhard Langer and Taiwan's Lu Chien-soon.
- 28 June – 1 July: Senior PGA Championship – American Joe Daley won his first Champions Tour event by two strokes over Tom Lehman.
- 12–15 July: U.S. Senior Open – England's Roger Chapman won his second senior major of the year.
- 26–29 July: The Senior Open Championship – American Fred Couples won his second senior major by two strokes over Gary Hallberg.
Money list leaders
- Champions Tour – German Bernhard Langer topped the money list for the fifth time with earnings of US$2,140,296.
- European Seniors Tour – Englishman Roger Chapman topped the money list for the first time with earnings of €356,751.
- Champions Tour
Amateur golf 
- 22–25 May: NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships – Alabama won its first team championship and Chirapat Jao-Javanil of Oklahoma won the individual title.
- 29 May – 3 June: NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships – Texas won its third team championship and Thomas Pieters of Illinois won the individual title.
- 8–10 June: Curtis Cup – Great Britain and Ireland defeated the United States, 10½ to 9½, winning for the first time since 1996.
- 18–23 June: The Amateur Championship – Alan Dunbar of Northern Ireland defeated Matthias Schwab of Austria, 1 up.
- 6–12 August: U.S. Women's Amateur – Lydia Ko of New Zealand beat American Jaye Marie Green, 3 & 1, in the final.
- 13–19 August: U.S. Amateur – American Steven Fox defeated Michael Weaver on the 37th hole.
- 27–30 September Espirito Santo Trophy – South Korea won by three strokes over Germany.
- 4–7 October Eisenhower Trophy – The United States won by five strokes over Mexico. The event was shortened to 54 holes due to rain.
- 1–4 November: Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship – 14-year-old Guan Tianlang of China won by one shot over Pan Cheng-tsung of Taiwan. Guan earned an invitation to the 2013 Masters, and stands to become the youngest golfer ever to compete in that tournament.
World Golf Hall of Fame inductees 
The 2012 class was inducted on 7 May:
- Peter Alliss (Lifetime Achievement)
- Dan Jenkins (Lifetime Achievement)
- Sandy Lyle (International)
- Phil Mickelson (PGA Tour)
- Hollis Stacy (Veterans)
The 2013 class was announced starting in September 2012 with induction set for May 2013:
- Fred Couples (PGA Tour)
- Ken Venturi (Lifetime Achievement)
- Willie Park, Jr. (Veterans)
- Colin Montgomerie (International)
- Ken Schofield (Lifetime Achievement)
- 2 January — Yoshiro Hayashi (born 1922), two-time Japan Open winner
- 24 January — Moira Milton (born 1923), British Ladies Amateur winner
- 10 February — Geoffrey Cornish (born 1914), golf course architect
- 8 March — Mike Fetchick (born 1922), three-time PGA Tour winner
- 20 July — Dorothy Germain Porter (born 1924), 1949 U.S. Women's Amateur winner
- 28 August — Ramón Sota (born 1938), won nine pre-European Tour events
- 26 September — Vance Heafner (born 1954), PGA Tour winner
- 11 October — Bill Ezinicki (born 1924), PGA professional and former professional ice hockey player
- 11 December — Colleen Walker (born 1956), nine-time LPGA Tour winner
Table of results 
This table summarizes all the results referred to above in date order.
- "Hunter Mahan wins Match Play title". ESPN. Associated Press. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
- "McIlroy clinches awards in memorable year". PGA Tour. Associated Press. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "McIlroy wins the Race to Dubai". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Ferguson, Doug (13 November 2012). "Tour changing the way it looks at 'comeback player' award, no one on ballot this year". Star Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
- Harig, Bob (6 March 2012). "Rory McIlroy takes No. 1 spot". ESPN. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Luke Donald wins, returns to No. 1". ESPN. Associated Press. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- "PGA Tour announces changes". ESPN. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- "Fall Series events to offer full FedExCup points" (Press release). PGA Tour. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- "Web.com signs deal to be new umbrella sponsor". PGA Tour. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Dell, John (10 July 2012). "Web.com impact expanded with qualifying changes". PGA Tour. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Elling, Steve (10 July 2012). "PGA Tour finalizes controversial makeover as Qualifying School gone after six-decade run". Eye on Golf (CBSSports.com). Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "Notes: Consistency becomes even more important in 2013". PGA Tour. Associated Press. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Canadian Tour to convert to PGA Tour Canada" (Press release). PGA Tour. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Miguel Angel Jimenez wins at 48". ESPN. Associated Press. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Lydia Creates History With Ko Blow" (Press release). ALPG Tour. 29 January 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Brooke Henderson wins second stop on CN Canadian Women's Tour" (Press release). CN Canadian Women's Tour. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Lydia Ko, 15, wins in Canada". ESPN. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Jiyai Shin's par wins playoff". ESPN. Associated Press. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- Harig, Bob (4 November 2012). "Guan Tianlang, 14, headed to Masters". ESPN. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- "Sandy Lyle, Peter Alliss picked for Hall". ESPN. Associated Press. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "World Golf Hall of Fame to induct Dan Jenkins in 2012". PGA Tour. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "World Golf Hall of Fame to induct Mickelson in 2012". PGA Tour. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "Hollis Stacy selected for Hall of Fame". ESPN. Associated Press. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- "Couples to be inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame". PGA Tour. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "World Golf Hall of Fame adds Venturi to 2013 class". PGA Tour. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Willie Park Jr. selected for World Golf Hall of Fame". PGA Tour. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Montgomerie, Schofield complete Hall of Fame class". PGA Tour. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
Men's tours' official sites 
- PGA Tour and portal to Champions and Web.com Tours
- European Tour and portal to European Senior and Challenge Tours
- Japan Golf Tour (English version)
- Asian Tour
- PGA Tour of Australasia
- Sunshine Tour
- OneAsia Tour
Women's tours' official sites 
- Official World Golf Ranking – updated each Monday
- Women's World Rankings – updated each Monday
- World Amateur Golf Rankings – updated each Wednesday
Golf news sites