With the 2012 PGA Tour season coming to the end after the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic this weekend, talk will turn to the yearly awards. The first and foremost will be, who should win The PGA Player OF The Year. In my mind, there is a case that can be made for three players, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Brandt Snedeker. If there is someone I have left off this list that you think should be considered, be sure to remind me through the comment section.
Tiger has had in my estimation, one of the better season on tour. Even though he struggled early with his swing and confidence, he put it together toward the end, and finished the season pretty strong. He finished the season in second place on both the Money List, and The World Golf Rankings. This is pretty remarkable considering turmoil his game was in at the end of the 2011 season.
After changing his caddy, and swing coach, he still came in with three wins, and six top tens. He made a valiant run at the FedEx Cup by finishing third at the Duetche Bank, a tied for fourth at the BMW Championship, and tied for eighth at the Tour Championship. His only hiccup was at the Barclays where he finished in a tie for 38th place. He came in third in the FedEx Cup finals.
Tiger played well during the early rounds at all of the Major Championships, but could not seem to put it together for the weekends. He is still one of the best pressure putters I’ve ever seen, with his equal being maybe Jack Nicklaus. His inability to control his short irons and distance, left him with too many low percentage putts to make. This is the one thing I feel like he needs to improve before he has a chance at catching Nicklaus at 18 Majors.
If Rory McIlroy had not had the let down during the middle of the season, we would not be having this conversation. He would have won the award straight away. Because this award is for what he accomplished on the PGA Tour, his record across the pond should not be considered.
Rory finished the season leading in both money list numbers, and ranked number one in the World Golf Rankings. He played brilliantly during the FedEx Cup, ending up in second place. He won the Duetche Bank and The BMW Championship, but a 24th place finish at The Barclays, and aT10 at the Tour Championship derailed his chances to get the trophy and the huge payday.
McIlroy made 12 of 16 cuts this year, and took home in excess of $8 million dollars. He had four wins on the year including the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, which was the second major of his short career. Besides the PGA and the FedEx wins, he also won the Honda Classic back in March.
I don’t see too many holes in his game other than fatigue at times. His swing, short game, and putting are among the most solid I have ever witnessed. Rory leads the tour in Scoring Average, and leads second place Tiger Woods by almost five strokes per round. He should easily win the Vardon, and The Byron Nelson Trophies this year.
I don’t think Brandt has a chance to win the Player of the Year, but I thought he deserved an honorable mention. After coming back from off season hip surgery, he got it going early and won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, albeit a gift from Kyle Stanley. The remaining of the season, he played well with mediocre finishes, but made 18 of 22 cuts, and had seven top 1o finishes.
One of his top 10 finishes was at the British open where he posted a third place. He missed the cut at the PGA, but came alive in the FedEx Cup playoffs where he warmed up his putter and got a second place at the Barclays, a sixth at the Duetche Bank, and he won the Tour Championship to take home the trophy and all the money. His only blemish was a 37th place finish at the BMW.
Brandt was a Captains pick for the Ryder Cup, and he played well at Medinah.