Who Deserves to Win PGA Tour Player of the Year?
Evaluating PGA Tour Player of the Year Contenders
On Friday, the PGA Tour will announce the winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award for PGA Tour Player of the Year. The five nominees for the prestigious award are Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Tiger Woods. Every one of the men in contention deserves to have their name on the ballot. We will have to wait until the member votes are calculated to see which one of the contenders is given the award, however.
The general consensus is that Woods will run away with the award. While it would not be a surprise if he were to take home his 11th Player of the Year award, it’s unlikely that it would be a runaway victory. Yes, Woods won five times on Tour this year. He also took home the Vardon Trophy as the golfer with the best scoring average, as well as the PGA of America’s points based Player of the Year award. The race is much tighter than most people think, though.
Woods failed to pick up a major victory yet again this year. Mickelson and Scott might not have the number of wins that Tiger amassed, but they each have a major title under their belts in 2013. Stenson won two events in the FedEx Cup Playoffs – including the TOUR Championship – and also won the $10 million as FedEx Cup champion.
It seems as if the odd man out in the race is Kuchar. He only won twice this year and didn’t pick up a major. Kuch also only had one top-10 finish in the playoffs. While he certainly had a stellar year, it’s just not on the same level as the other four men with whom he is contending for the award.
If you had a vote, who would you choose as Player of the Year?
Kuchar only won twice this year, but did manage eight top-10 finishes. His lack of a major title all but eliminates him from the conversation.
Five wins in one season is an impressive feat. He would be a lock for the award had he won a major or the FedEx Cup championship. The Vardon Trophy and the PGA of America Player of the Year strengthen his case a bit. He’s still the likely winner, but the race should be much closer than previously thought.
Hit a minor rough patch during the playoffs, but his win at the British Open was remarkable. The strength of that win combined with his victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open have him in contention for this award. In many ways, it was a very typical year for Mickelson, with plenty of ups and downs – but when he was on it was great to watch.
Stenson come on like a rocket during the last few months of the season. He closed the year with top-25 finishes in six of the final eight events, including wins at the Deutsche Bank Championship and TOUR Championship. The Swede has a real shot at this honor, especially since he was also crowned FedEx Cup champion.
The Aussie would have locked the award up had he finished strong and won the FedEx Cup title. Instead, he finished 14th at the TOUR Championship and fourth in the FedEx Cup. He is still one of the frontrunners for the award based on his wins at The Masters and The Barclays.
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