by Jeff Skinner
The PGA Tour has announced their official nominees for Player of the Year. Players can vote until 5p.m. Thursday and the winner will be announced on Friday. Their nominees are Matt Kuchar, Henrik Stenson, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Tiger Woods.
With all due respect to Kuch and Stenson, who both had wonderful seasons, the real competition is between Woods, Scott and Mickelson, or maybe there really isn’t any competition at all. At the Deutsche Bank both Scott and Rory McIlroy didn’t hesitate when asked who was Player of the Year at that point, “it’s Tiger” they both said.
And the only thing that changed since then is that Stenson won twice in the playoffs but really that isn’t enough, nor are Kuchar’s two wins, to overtake the accomplishments of the three main contenders: Woods, Scott and Mickelson.
Mickelson has two wins, The Waste Management Open and his historic Open Championship. Now majors count for much more than a regular tour win and Phil’s victory at The Open Championship was one of the biggest in recent memory. But how much weight do players put on a major win when considering POY?
Adam Scott is in the same class as Mickelson. With his great breakthrough win at The Masters and a Playoff win at The Barclays, his wins may carry slightly more weight than Phil’s.
Now Tiger was shut out of the majors but he did capture five PGA Tour wins: Farmers Insurance Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational, World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, THE PLAYERS Championship and World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. The Players and the two WGC’s are a step up from a regular season event but still not a major. Five tour wins is three more than anyone else had but do they outweigh a major and another win?
In the eyes of the players I think it just might. Scott and Mickelson had a chance to win another playoff event and that may have been enough to discount Tiger’s five wins. But in the players eyes I think it will be Tiger that wins his eleventh PGA Tour Player of the Year.