With the PGA Season wrapping up, it’s time to evaluate whether anyone not named Tiger has a chance to win the Player of the Year honors pending the FedEx Cup results. It’s almost a given each year that Tiger will win the award, but sometimes there are a few players that give Tiger a run for his money. I have no idea how they figure out who had the best season or what the exact criteria is, but here are some of my picks for players that had a good enough season to be considered!
Tiger Woods (0 Majors, 5 PGA Wins, and 1st in the FedEx Cup Standings)
Coming off his knee surgery it took him a whole three tournaments to record his first win of the season. He went on to win three of the next four tournaments that he played in. The only real scuff on Tiger’s season resume was that he didn’t win a single major. Many believed (myself included) that he’d be able to win one and probably two of the majors this year. This was the first year failed to win a major since 2004, which would be the equivalent of blacking out, and having money still in your wallet the next morning. He didn’t even make the cut for this years British Open, which I personally enjoyed. You can’t say it was an off year for him as he leads the tour in average round scoring, money, and wins. Pretty easy choice for POTY, but he did show that he is vulnerable.
Y.E. Yang (PGA Championship, 2 wins, 7th in FedEx Cup Standings)
Y.E. won his first two PGA events of his career this season, and seems to be on the path to a great career. He is the only player to post a win in a major and a win in another PGA tournament. His year will undoubtedly be known for beating the best player in the world in the final pairing of the PGA Championship. He showed us something that nobody else has, he can fist pump as good as Tiger when making a charge in the final round. He is easily the runner up for player of the year in my mind. I hope we get to see him and Tiger can battle it out again in the FedEx Cup.
Steve Stricker (0 Majors, 2 wins, 2nd in the FedEx Cup Standings)
He earned the “Mr. Consistent” award from me for his performance this season. The 42 year old has had one of his best seasons winning twice, and had eight top ten finishes. The technically sound Stricker should be a threat to Tiger in the FedEx Cup.
Kenny Perry (0 Majors, 2 wins, 4th in the FedEx Cup Standings)
Perry won the FBR Open for his sick father. Perry will tell you his father held on just to watch his son play some good golf. He won the next weekend as well. Perry also had the lead in the Masters through 16 holes. He needed to finish with a par and a bogey to win. His chipping hurt him as he finished with two straight bogeys and handed the trophy over to Cink.
Zach Johnson (0 Majors, 2 Wins, 3rd in the FedEx Cup Standings)
ZJ, the guy I can never seem to like/root for, had a good season winning two events. He was consistently high on the leader boards finishing in the top 10 in 7 events. He is also the golfer who played the least PGA events (21) on my player of the year list. He either needs a new pair of shades or to grow a little taller before you’ll find me rooting for him.
Honorable mention, Tom Watson, he probably would have been just under Tiger had he won the British Open. He’s a 59 year old, and almost won a Major. It was by far the most interesting major of this season, and probably the best since Tiger’s hobbled effort at the US Open last summer. If only he could have made that 8 ft. putt to avoid going into a playoff.
So it looks like Tiger should be Player of the Year once again. It will be his tenth POTY award that he can add to his always expanding trophy room down in Florida.