by Jeff Skinner
It was encouraging to see Dustin Johnson close the deal on Sunday at The BMW Championship. After the summer he had he deserved a chance at vindication. With bad memories at the U.S. Open and The PGA Championship this win gives Johnson a truly successful season rather than an off season full of “should haves and could haves.” Johnson’s win over the best PGA Tour players moves him into second place in FedEx Cup points, gives him two wins this year and puts him smack dab in the middle of the Player of the Year race.
Johnson is one of six golfers that have two PGA Tour wins this year. Els, Furyk, Mahan, Rose and Stricker all have two victories as does Johnson. All six are in the Tour Championship next week and a win by any of them would give them a compelling case for Player of the Year. The only other players that could be considered for Player of the Year are Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson. Kuchar leads the tour in half a dozen important statistics and has been one of the hottest golfers of late. If Phil Mickelson were to win the Tour Championship he would end the season with a Masters and a Tour Championship and that would trump any other player with two wins. Phil’s Masters carries a little extra weight in Player of the Year consideration.
There is no clear cut candidate for Player of the Year right now. If none of the aforementioned players were to capture The Tour Championship I would have to give it to Dustin Johnson. His season of two wins and two near misses in the majors should give him the Player of the Year. It all comes down to the final week of the season, just like The PGA Tour planned.