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Making A Case For Phil Mickelson For PGA Tour Player Of The Year

Mark Konezny – USA TODAY Sports

As the 2013 PGA Tour season’s end draws near, it’s time to start thinking back. In just a few short weeks, when the FedEx Cup has been awarded and players start looking forward to next season, the 2013 PGA Tour awards will be given out. Taking an early look ahead, I’ll be breaking down some of the top candidates for the Player Of The Year honors.

Let’s start by taking a look at Phil Mickelson. It’s easy to get caught up in Tiger Woods’s five wins in just 14 events, but so far, Mickelson has played arguably one of the greatest seasons of his professional career. Even if he doesn’t end up winning the FedEx Cup season title, he should be a strong candidate for the award.

For starters, Mickelson is one of just five players to win two or more tournaments this season. With the exception of some untimely missed cuts at The PLAYERS Championship and the Greenbrier Classic, he played some of the best golf of his year this summer, especially at the major championships. Of course, after yet another heartbreaking runner-up finish at Merion for the U.S. Open, Phil didn’t totally fold up. He went to Europe early, won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, and then had a magical week at Muirfield.

That win at the Open Championship, the tournament even Mickelson himself wasn’t sure he would ever win, is what puts Lefty firmly in the discussion for this top honor. It’s a tough sell to most, but major championships count extra in my book, and this is what could put Mickelson over Woods. He also sits third on the money list and sixth in FedEx Cup points, still well within striking distance heading into the BMW Championship.

To most, Woods is the foregone conclusion for just about every season-ending award, but to me, it doesn’t have to be that clear-cut. Mickelson may not have done enough to sway all the voters, but he deserves some solid consideration.

Brandon Raper is a golf writer for RantSports.com. “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, and add him to your Google+ network.

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