by Jeff Skinner
The ballots for PGA Tour Player of The Year go out this week to the players and this should be a fairly easy task. All they should do is check the box next to Luke Donald. It’s as simple as that. Donald is the Player of the Year and if he doesn’t win the title there should be a recount and the PGA Tour players should be beaten with a five iron.
For those that think Donald is undeserving all they need do is check Donald’s significant accomplishments this season. But first let’s look at his competition.
The only American to win a major this year was Keegan Bradley. He, like Donald has two wins on tour but he played in 28 tournaments and only managed four top tens. Any time you win a major you’ve had a great season especially if you’re a rookie. And that is where Bradley will collect his post season hardware, with the Rookie of The Year. (Masters winner Charl Schwartzel is technically a rookie but we all know he is far from a true one.)
Donald’s strongest competition will come from Webb Simpson who also has two wins this season. He was also close on a few occasions as he lost in two playoffs and had 12 top tens. He threatened to win the FedEx Cup and the money title. In fact, he finished second on the money list, second in top ten finishes and second in scoring average. That’s an amazing year but he was second to Luke Donald in all those categories. I could rest my case here but there’s more.
Luke Donald had two wins on the PGA Tour and 14 top tens, in only 19 starts. That means he finished in the top ten in a remarkable 74% of his starts. In addition to leading the Tour in top tens, money, strokes gained putting, final round scoring and 3 putt avoidance he also won the Vardon Trophy. The Vardon Trophy is given to the player with the lowest scoring average and this year it was Donald with his 68.86.
Seven players have won two events on the PGA Tour this season but no player had had the season that Luke Donald has. He has spent more weeks at World Number One than any player this year and his play on the PGA Tour certainly has been representative of that. Donald seemed to be in contention each and every time he played.
Donald’s season ending win at Disney showed how strong he felt about the PGA Tour’s Money Title and his finish there should have sewn up another piece of hardware for his trophy case, Player of The Year.