In the grand tradition of Golf Digest’s “Tweets of the Year,” I present the best tweet of 2012 from each of the 10 best men’s golfers on Twitter.

Unfortunately, the Nos. 5, 7 and 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking— Misters Oosthuizen, Scott, and Snedeker — aren’t active in the Twitterverse. However, the 13th ranked golfer in the world, Ian Poulter, more than makes up for their absence with the volume of his tweets.

Rory McIlroy: OWGR No. 1

In response to an ill-informed tweet by former professional hockey player, Jeff O’Neill, Rory McIlroy pointed to his multiple major championship victories. In doing so, the golfer effectively dropped his gloves and beat down the former Hartford Whaler.

It’s not clear why the often venomous O’Neill was taking issue McIlroy, or which “chirps” he objected to, but as O’Neill is both a sports fan and a golfer, one would think he’d be more aware of Rory’s record. Apparently not.

Luke Donald: OWGR No. 2

No. Luke Donald was not laughing at Gil Hanse preparing food…

During the Deutsche Bank Championship, Donald took to Twitter to disparage the architect who re-designed portions of TPC Boston. His tweet was meant to be a DM. Unfortunately for Donald, though, it wasn’t and his assessment of Hanse was broadcast to all of his followers. More immediately inconvenient for the golfer was the tweeting of his cell phone number, which he also meant to DM.

Donald quickly deleted the tweet and issued an apology, but the entry lives on in an abundance of screen captures and blog posts.

Tiger Woods: OWRG No. 3

I assume that Tiger Woods’ presence on Twitter is primarily the result of the prodding of the marketing arm of Team Tiger. Even so, amongst the bland, contrived and largely formulaic tweets coming from the @TigerWoods handle, there are a few chirps which seem like they come from Woods himself and are representative of the contents of the mind of the Tiger at a particular moment.

Such a moment came after Roger Federer’s epic battle with Andy Murray. Woods is a friend of Federer and often attends the U.S. Open, so it’s likely he actually watched the match and that the tweet represents his true sentiments, which is rare in any Woodsian public utterance.

Justin Rose: OWGR No. 4

Justin Rose’s response to Adam Scott’s slow burn at the Open Championship is notable both for the English spelling of “colors” and for his honest and opportune response to the event. In less than 140 characters, Rose expressed his feelings about his friend’s pitiable surrender of the Claret Jug. In doing so, he voiced publicly what so many golf fans were feeling in a uniquely personal way.

Lee Westwood: OWGR No. 6

Westwood hasn’t been tweeting much over the past few months. This is a shame, as we’re being deprived of utterances nearly incomprehensible to the average American, like the one above. I think Westwood was talking about a couple of soccer games, although he may have been referencing deviant bedroom practices…I’m not entirely sure.

Bubba Watson: OWGR No. 8

Bubba Watson’s tweet following his Masters victory conveyed the surreal nature of one’s first major championship victory and what it’s like to have recently arrived at the pinnacle of success, rather unexpectedly.

“Crazy day,” doesn’t really begin to sum up Bubba’s experience. But really, what can he say, at the end of the day, returning home, unheralded winner of the Masters? Not surprising he’d doubt reality for a minute, or think he’s living a dream. It’s similar to the moment when an Oscar winner returns home with his award…reflecting in the silence, what else is there to say? #awesome

Jason Dufner: OWGR No. 9

Dufner’s tweet is great, because, well, a dip-packing, adoptive Alabama good ole’ boy quoting Kanye West is fantastic. Such are the wonders of the Duf.

Webb Simpson: OWGR No. 11

Easily my favorite golf-related tweet of 2012, Webb Simpson took an absurd attempt to ruin his moment in the sun and shrugged it off in a way Bob Costas couldn’t as it happened—You’ll recall Costas awkward indignation and grumpy declaration “…always something to spice matters up.”

The newly-crowned U.S. Open champion then took to Twitter to make light of the situation, tweeting a screen capture of himself and the renegade Junglebird. The traditional approaches to such a situation would have been to

  1. ignore it, or
  2. decry the infiltration of the sanctum of the USGA: the U.S. Open.

Simpson went off-script and handled the situation perfectly, reclaiming his special moment in an unexpected way.

Keegan Bradley: OWGR No. 12

In the midst of the presidential debate when harsh partisan views permeated Twitter, Keegan Bradley emerged as the lone voice of rational discourse. Bradley pointed out the elephant on the debate stage: the belly putter question.

Ian Poulter: OWGR No. 13

Ian Poulter tweets a lot about a variety of topics. His most recent tweets, at this writing, are about his iPhone, his clothing company, the Orlando Magic game, his equipment and his Christmas haircut. Lost in the torrent of tweets, the pink, and the plaid is the fact that Poulter is an incredibly passionate and dedicated golfer with a real will to win.

The former assistant pro is a dominant Ryder Cup player (8-3-0) and has won 16 times around the world. In response to critical tweets regarding his anger on the course during Tiger Woods’ World Challenge event, Poulter defended himself, citing passion as an essential attribute of anyone who legitimately wants to win a golf tournament. Poulter’s logic seems to indicate that the pros who don’t show passion aren’t playing to win, which is a bold claim.

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