I agree with most of the writers around Professional golf that winning a major championship should not be the driving factor that decides who is eligible for PGA Player of the Year honors. This attitude is apparent with Tiger Woods being the current front-runner based on five wins, but no majors on his 2013 resume. So my question is, why is Henrik Stenson not in the conversation yet?
Let’s take a look at the 37 year-old Swede, and his performance on the PGA Tour this year. He played in 18 events, and made 16 cuts. His only missed cuts were in the Honda Classic, and the Wells Fargo Championship. There are always some golf courses out there that either don’t fit your eye, or you just don’t like for one reason or the other. Or you just have a bad day(four days).
Stenson had two wins, both during the FedEx Cup playoffs, three second-place finishes, one third-place, and 10 top 25′s. He won just over $6 Million Dollars before the playoffs started, and began the playoffs in the top ten.
His good performance lasted most of the season, and he started to make some noise at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he finished T8. He is the forgotten third wheel in the playoff at the Shell Houston Open where we remember D.A. Points beating Billy Horschel, but he also had to beat Henrik Stenson.
Stenson had a respectful T 18 at the Masters to go along with a T 5 at The Players. He was T 21 at Merion, and finished in sole second place at Muirfield to Open Champion, Phil Mickelson. He picked up a sole third at the PGA Championship before finding the winners circle in Boston.
After beating Tiger Woods for the FedEx Cup title, Stenson finished second on the PGA Money List, is now ranked number four in the Official World Golf Rankings, and leads the PGA Tour in Green in Regulation. He finished in a solid fourth position in Adjusted Scoring Average behind only Steve Stricker, Tiger Woods, and Justin Rose.
I’m not 100% committed to Henrik Stenson winning the 2013 Player of the Year award because I think Tiger Woods also had a great year. Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Justin Rose belong in the conversation for this year-ending award, but I also think that after the year Henrik Stenson had, he belongs in the discussion as well.