Let's see, I did not have Webb Simpson winning the U.S. Open, I missed Ernie Els winning The Open Championship and Bubba Watson winning the Masters never entered my mind.
I must also confess up front that I did not have Charlie Beljan, Tommy " Two Gloves" Gainey, Kyle Stanley, Jonas Blixt, John Huh or George McNeill as winners in 2012.
And I told anyone who would listen that Team USA was a lock to win the Ryder Cup.
So, you ask, who am I to make predictions about golf surprises in 2013?
Well, let me tell you. I did get one of my prognostications correct.
That's right, I had Rory winning another major. At least I've got that going for me.
Before I fearlessly jump into my 2013 surprises, I must explain what is meant by a "surprise." A "surprise" is an event or occurrence which is not foreseen as being likely during the upcoming year by golf watchers and golf writers but which, in my estimation, has a 25% chance of happening. With that, let's jump into my top ten surprises for 2013.
Surprise No. 1: After a disappointing start to the new year, Tiger Woods parts company with Sean Foley and announces that he will never work with another swing coach again. He explains to the media that "this is all a process and it's something I must work at on my own."
Woods then rattles off victories at the WGC-Cadillac at Doral and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill setting up high expectations for the Masters. Foley is approached by numerous publishing houses about writing a book on his experiences with Tiger.
Surprise No. 2. Justin Rose, a Sean Foley disciple, wins his first major by taking the Masters. The victory is especially sweet for Foley as Rose, tied for 2d place with Phil Mickelson after 54 holes and one stroke off the lead held by Woods and Adam Scott. On the practice green prior to the final round, Scott's caddy, Stevie Williams has a few choice words with Woods while Mickelson is overheard saying to Rose, "you're not gonna pull that Ryder Cup crap again, are you?" As Bubba Watson helps Rose put on his green jacket, he is heard mentioning to Rose that the Golf Boys are looking for new members.
Surprise No. 3. In a move that stuns the golf world, Miguel Angel Jiminez, 49, announces his retirement from professional golf. Jiminez, with a scotch in one hand and a cigar in the other, says that his new commitments with the Spanish Olympic ski team will not allow him the necessary time to devote to golf.
Surprise No. 4. At the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, Jim Furyk and Keegan Bradley are tied for the lead and are paired together going for the final round. In a surprise move, a Las Vegas hotel quickly puts out a line on how many times each player will back off of putts during their round. The line on Furyk is 7 and the line on Bradley is 8. Over/Under bets are allowed on each player or on the total of 15. Parlays are also accepted. In a 5 hour 37 minute final round marathon, both players go over their respective numbers------on the front nine-----and fail to break par. Jason Dufner, one stroke back at the start of the final round, fires a blistering 64 to win his first major as Furyk and Bradley fade to a tie for third place.
In the NBC telecast booth, Johnny Miller says " Dufner has the type of game and demeanor young kids should emulate, but I'm not really fond of the chewing tobacco."
Surprise No. 5. At the trophy presentation, as Bob Costas of NBC Sports is interviewing Dufner and trying to elicit more than a three word response, a weird noise is heard in the background. Suddenly Andrew Dudley, a/k/a Jungle Bird, appears on televisions screens across the country for a split second before USGA Executive Director Mike Davis body slams him to the ground. Later, over a hot mic when he thinks NBC is of the air, Costas is overheard by millions as he says, "I hope that guy isn't carrying a gun; golf and guns just do not mix."
Surprise No. 6. At The Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Links, Ian Poulter overcomes a two-shot deficit to defeat Luke Donald and Lee Westwood and win his first major. Later, when asked to compare winning The Open to the Ryder Cup, Poulter shrugs and says, "this is nice, don't get me wrong, but nothing is as special as the Ryder Cup. I just feel bad that it was my Ryder Cup teammates I had to beat to win this."
Surprise No. 7. Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki announce their engagement and their plans to marry sometime "after the season is over at an undisclosed location." McIlroy also announces that Tiger Woods will be his best man. An unemotional Woods was overheard to say "I had to let him go sometime. But I'm very happy for both of them and I wish them the very best. Marriage is a process you know, and you have to keep working at it."
Surprise No. 8. At the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, NY, Justin Rose wins his second major of the year as he holds on to defeat Brandt Snedeker by one shot when Snedeker bogeys the final hole. Rose is effusive in his praise for Sean Foley. Foley, in response to a question, says he has no need and no desire to write a book on Tiger Woods. "I'd rather write a book on Justin Rose," Foley says with a smile.
Surprise No. 9. Rory McIlroy fails to win a major in 2013. Nike golf executives panic.
Surprise No. 10. For the fifth consecutive year, Tiger Woods fails to win a major. Does that qualify as a surprise anymore?
By Mike Verrastro
Follow Mike on Twitter @mjv1230