Who is Your PGA Player of the Year?


Since the days of yore, er, um, Tiger domination, the PGA TOUR hasn’t really had that one dominant player. Same hold true for 2011 which makes trying to figure out the Player of the Year even more distressing.

If you stress over that sort of thing, that is.

Well, I did a bit. Here’s a look at some of those up for the award or names I’ve head mentioned for it.

1. Luke Donald
Donald currently sits atop the tour money list and the money list for the European Tour. He also leads in top 10’s (13) and scoring average. He just so happens to be the world’s #1, too. That’s a nice looking resume’ except for a couple of things: only one win on the PGA and no major victory in 2010.

2. Webb Simpson
Simpson could pass Donald on both the money list and in scoring average should he prove to have an excellent weekend at The McGladrey. He only needs $69,000 to pass Donald on the money list, but would have to shoot four great rounds to pass Donald’s scoring average of 68.86. Simpson sits 0.48 strokes per round behind. Even though Simpson has two wins and a pair of seconds, he also has no major title.

3. Keegan Bradley
Finally…a major winner. Bradley also owns a victory at the HP Byron Nelson Classic to his list of 2011 wins. The drawback in selecting Bradley is that after he neeted his major, he did not perform well at all and he missed the cut in 10 of 28 events entered. For some reason, this is not getting as much play as I think it should.

4. Nick Watney
Another multiple winner (WGC-Cadillac and AT&T National) who also possesses as much game as anyone that swings a club. Watney owns a second place finish and 10 top 10’s, tied for second on tour. Again, not a major to his credit.

5. Bill Haas
We all know why Haas continually is brought up in these conversations and it is not related to his father. He may have pulled off the shot of the year en route to capturing the The TOUR Championship and the FedEx Cup. The TOUR was his only win, but he did manage a pair of seconds.

To pull all of this together…

EventsWins2ndTop 10MCMoney

So I gathered this information and got to thinking (which isn’t always a good thing to be perfectly frank): what about the other multiple winners? That would also put Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson and Mark Wilson in with this, too. Here’s there numbers relative to the above table.

EventsWins2ndTop 10MCMoney

So now I’m looking at eight players? And why did I even consider the last three? Yes, it’s eight and I added the last three because multiple wins seems to be a form of the criteria to be considered. I’m blowing that out the water now though. Of the trio of Stricker, Watson and Wilson, I’m taking Stricker over the other two.

Why, you ask. He made every cut, a darn impressive feat (even though it was only in 19 events). I will now consider the first five plus Stricker going forward.

Should I be reluctant to do that? You might tink that’s the case, but I also look at performances in majors as part of the equation.

MastersUS OpenBr. OpenPGA

It looks like my inclusion of Stricker is a bit vindicated. Only he and Hass made the cut in all four, but Stricker managed a top 20 in all four majors. That’s impressive. And now you ight be thinking that I’m leaning to toward Stricker, right? Not really, but (and I’m ready to hear the gasps), I would take Stricker over the only major winner in this group in Keegan Bradley.

Stricker has no missed cuts…Bradley has 10
Stricker has 5 top 10’s…Bradley has 4
Stricker has won more money

Three reasons right there.

But I’m now taking Stricker and Haas out the picture, too. Neither have a second place finish and both have less top 10’s.

That leaves me three: Donlad, Simpson, Watney. And is there any way to “eliminate” any of them? I managed to do that.

Donald has more top 10’s than anyone, so he’s safe even though he has only one win. Simpsson and Watney has the same number of wins and top 10’s. Simpson has made slightly more money and has one more second place finish. Yes, I am reluctantly removing Watney from consideration. Down to Donald and Simpson.

You know what? If Webb Simpson wins this weekend, all of this is moot. He will be the only one with three wins. And if that occurs, he’s your Player of the Year.

In other words…I’m waiting. But what do you say?