On July 1st, 2013, there wasn’t any doubt who was going to win the Player of the Year award on the PGA Tour. At that juncture, Tiger Woods had won four tournaments, the last being The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. And even though Phil Mickelson added the Scottish Open and the Open Championships in mid July at Muirfield, after Woods ran away with the WGC-Bridgestone in early August giving him five victories, he was a lock for the award. Now that Adam Scott has added a FedEx Cup event to his Masters win, he is now in the picture for the award as well.
After reading Major victories the ultimate measure of greatness by Joe Posnanski from the Golf Channel.com And the accompanying video by John Hawkins, I felt I needed to put my two cents in on the subject. I encourage you to click the link above. Mr. Posnanski has provided some interesting statistics about all of the top golfers from the past, it is a very good read.
I know I’m going to draw the ire of the Tiger Woods lovers here, but I think there is a legitimate claim that can be made for Adam Scott, and Phil Mickelson. Although Tiger’s wins at the WGC events with very strong players in the field carries a lot of weight, those wins came at golf courses that Tiger absolutely owns. He can get around Doral, Muirfield Village, Torrey Pines, and Bay Hill with his eyes closed.
His only great win in my estimation came at Ponte Vedra Beach. Although Woods has won the Players Championship in the past, it is a place where he has struggled at times, and doesn’t own the course like the other wins.
So making the argument that Tiger has five quality wins on the year is somewhat questionable. I will agree however, that Adam Scott’s win at Liberty National this past weekend was one where he may have backed in to a victory instead of going out and beating someone head to head. If you agree that Ernie El’s Open Championship win at Royal Lytham in 2102 when Scot folded on Sunday, then you have to get the point of Adam’s win at The Barclays.
To further muddy the water a bit, Phil Mickelson’s victory at The Waste Management Phoenix Open came at a venue that he owns against a watered down early season field. The top players from Europe typically don’t show up until the Florida swing, but there are a few that live in the USA that played ie…Graeme McDowell, and Lee Westwood. His win at The Scottish Open was a quality win but also against a questionable field.
There are no arguments from this camp that Adam Scott winning the Masters, and Phil Mickelson’s win at Muirfield were quality wins, and major championships at that. This is where I agree with the writer at golfchannel.com. The major championships Phil, and Adam won, have to carry a little more weight than the five victories Woods had.
We still have some golf remaining before it’s time to actually hand out this award. I’m hoping that US Open Champ, Justin Rose carves out a win along the way to the end of the season. Then you would have to put him in the conversation for PGA Player of The Year as well.
Do I thinki Tiger Woods is a lock for this award….No.