Tiger Woods wasn’t the only golfer to win an award this morning. In what was essentially a no-brainer, Jordan Spieth was voted the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. There really wasn’t much suspense or speculation surrounding the race for the top rookie honors, as Spieth had sewn it up quite a while ago thanks to a magnificent rookie campaign.
He beat out David Lingmerth, Russell Henley and Derek Ernst for the award. Not to take anything away from the other three nominees, but Spieth’s 2013 season was in a completely different stratosphere from his fellow rookies. “It’s a tremendous honor,” Spieth said. “It’s been a great year for rookies on the PGA Tour.” His year was great, the other three players had good seasons.
Spieth joins a rather impressive list of golfers that have won the Rookie of the Year award in recent years. Brandt Snedeker (2007), Andres Romero (2008), Marc Leishman (2009), Rickie Fowler (2010), Keegan Bradley (2011) and John Huh (2012) are the last seven winners of the award, and all of them have gone on to do fairly well for themselves since picking up their hardware. I don’t anticipate Spieth to stop that trend. The kid is the real deal.
His runaway victory was due, in part, to the fact that he racked up seven top-10 finishes and won a tournament. He was the only rookie to qualify for the FedEx Cup finale, the TOUR Championship, where he went on to finish in a tie for second. Spieth finished seventh in the FedEx Cup standings after starting the 2013 campaign without a status on any tour. He moved up to 21st in the official world golf rankings and finished 10th on the money list.
It was a dream season for Spieth, who played the majority of the season as a 19-year old. If he continues the torrid pace he established this year, he could very well be in contention for the Player of the Year award next year. His next start will come at next week’s Presidents Cup, where he is one of two players handpicked by captain Fred Couples.