A rubric to decide PGA Tour Player of the Year (Hint: Tiger wins)

A rubric to decide PGA Tour Player of the Year (Hint: Tiger wins)

Tiger Woods. Henrik Stenson. Phil Mickelson. Adam Scott. Matt Kuchar.

Those are the five men on the player-voted PGA Tour Player of the Year ballot. All have a case to be made for the award, however, the real conversation seems to hinge on the first four men on that list.

Tiger Woods won five times in 2013, more than any player in the world. Those wins included his second Players title, two World Golf Championships events and wins at familiar stops in Torrey Pines and Bay Hill.

Adam Scott became the first Aussie to ever win the Masters, then bookended his year with a FedEx Cup playoff win at The Barclays.

Phil Mickelson nearly shot 59 en route to a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, then took the Open Championship for an improbable fifth major at Muirfield. (He also won the Scottish Open the week before the Open, but that doesn't count for the PGA Tour's purposes.)

Henrik Stenson has been the best golfer on the planet in the last four months, notching a pair of playoff wins at the Deutsche Bank Championship and the Tour Championship, the latter guaranteeing him the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.

Matt Kuchar is on the ballot, too, because, as you might forget, he won twice this year. He took the WGC-Accenture Match Play and the Memorial Tournament.

Player Starts Wins FedEx Finish Money List Money Earned Money Per Start
Tiger Woods 16 5 2 1 $8,553,439 $534,589.94
Adam Scott 16 2 4 6 $4,892,611 $305,788.19
Henrik Stenson 18 2 1 2 $6,388,230 $354,901.67
Phil Mickelson 21 2 9 4 $5,495,793 $261,704.43
Matt Kuchar 23 2 6 3 $5,616,808 $244,209.04

So who is the Player of the Year? Unofficial polling by beat reporters suggests the winner is Tiger Woods. And he should be. Here's why:

  • Tiger Woods reclaimed No. 1 in the world in 2013
  • Tiger Woods won the most golf tournaments in the world in 2013
  • Tiger Woods won the PGA Tour money list in 2013
  • Tiger Woods earned 60 more world-ranking points than any player

Conversely, here's why some say Tiger Woods is not Player of the Year:

  • Tiger Woods did not win a major in 2013
  • Tiger Woods did not win the FedEx Cup in 2013

Four pros to two cons? Even with those fairly obscene high standards on which Woods' year is judged, he's still had a better year than his competition. He will be PGA Tour Player of the Year.

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About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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