by Jeff Skinner
The PGA Tour has released its five nominees for the 2010 PGA Tour Player of the Year. Previously this was nothing but a mere formality as Tiger Woods had won the award ten of the last thirteen years. But with Tiger playing distracted golf this year the award is up for grabs for these five golfers.
The five nominees all had very respectable seasons but none of them are enough to warrant a landslide in the voting. With Tiger having made multiple wins during the same season appear almost mediocre, there is no clear cut winner.
Ernie Els had two wins and contended in some majors but his year is more of a “min-comeback” than it is a grand accomplishment.
Dustin Johnson could easily have been a unanimous selection if he had hung on to his lead at the US Open and not bunkered himself at The PGA. As it is his two wins were a nice, acceptable consolation for missing out on a pair of life changing wins.
Matt Kuchar earned The Vardon Trophy and the money title and that is great but one win during the playoffs doesn’t make a Player of the Year, no matter how nice Kuch is.
If Phil Mickelson could have won one regular season event to go with his emotional Masters victory he’d be clearing a spot in his trophy case for this year’s award. Unfortunately for Phil he peaked in April and was never able to add another win to his total. As exciting and touching as his Masters win was, it is not enough to earn Phil his first Player of the Year trophy.
Jim Furyk won in March for the first time since 2008, picked up another win in April and finished the season with a bang by winning The Tour Championship and The FedEx Cup. It’s the first time Furyk has won three times in a season and offers the most compelling case for Player of the Year. Three wins trumps two wins. It trumps a money title and it probably trumps one major, at least in terms of a single season. Furyk had a great season. He’s The 2010 Player of the Year and he can’t wait to get to Hawaii to defend his title.