Player of the Year Vote Delayed


So the PGA decided to delay its voting for Player of the Year another two weeks. Ballots will not be issued until after the WGC-HSBC Champions. Why was this decision made? If you listen and read to anyone associated with the PGA, this decision is, for lack of a better term, ridiculous.

So let me (attempt to) understand this correctly…

The WGC-HSBC will be recognized as a PGA win if the winner is a member of the PGA TOUR. Got that. The money part; however, is unofficial and does not get added to a player’s earnings. Wait…

The win counts, but the money doesn’t? Shouldn’t it be both or neither (or however you want to word that)? Oh, I now have other questions about this “situation”, too.

Why wait to make this announcement? Why wasn’t this new “criteria” brought to light about six months ago (at least)? Why make this last minute, abrupt change?

Yes, I’m smelling something, and it is disturbing. For one, Luke Donald will maintain his money list standing. That will not be in peril due to this decision. Those that were in the process of crowning him as POY will have to delay their coronation.

Shortly after I awoke today, I’m began watching Morning Drive on Golf Channel. I had the chance to listen to the TOUR’s executive vice president of communication and international affairs Ty Votaw’s explanation on this matter. (Thanks to Golf Channel)

"“If this change wasn’t made you could have had members voting on incomplete information if they voted before HSBC,” Votaw said. “It came down to a question of fairness.”"

Last year, the tournament in question had been held prior to the voting. This year and the manner of scheduling had placed the WGC-HSBC outside the voting window. Votaw states the TOUR is trying to be fair in respect to the WGC-HSBC.

"“This was about fairness to the voting body so that the same information is possessed by all voting members when the ballots are sent out.”"

Only names are published on the ballots. No stats are included.

In listening to this interrogation (and it should have been conducted as such), Votaw came off as somewhat confrontational…and he proceeded passed the matter off onto a member of the golf media when the PGA was contacted and “alerted” about the fact the WGC-HSBC was constituted as a PGA TOUR win last year.

So this was to correct this “oversight” according to Votaw.


But there is even more irony (er, um, confusion) dripping here…and other questions (as if I haven’t already brought up enough).

At the WGC-HSBC, there are currently a trio of two-time winners slated to participate: PGA Champ Keegan Bradley, Nick Watney and Mark Wilson. And there’s also a guy by the name of Charl Schwartzel entered as well. He did win The Masters in what may have been the best tournament of the year.

If Watney, Wilson or Bradley win, there wold be the only player with three wins. A Bradley victory could sway a mind or two based on his major win this season. The matter of Schwartzel creates a different reasoning.

A Schwartzel win would add his name to the list of players with two. He would then distance himself from all the others based on two things: a major win and a WGC win. Another factor would be that Schwartzel made every cut. This is the same argument I brought up on why Steve Stricker should be considered for POY. And if you revert to that post, I also mentioned that Bradley has missed ten cuts this season.

Need I say more?

Yes I do. FedEx Cup Champ Bill Haas will be in the field. I don’ t believe I need to go in depth on what a Haas win could do to the voting…if any of this really matters at all.

As of yet, there are four other two-time winners that have yet to commit to the WGC-HSBC: Donald, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Sticker. Donald has stated that he will attend the event if his wife has delivered the couple’s second child prior to the start of the tournament.

You can say this smells of a conspiracy against Donald because he is not American. You would have precedent on your side here. Just last year, Rickie Fowler was voted Rookie of the Year despite not winning a tournament. Some guy names McIlroy won a tournament and was bypassed in the vote.

If you are leaning toward Donald as your POY and you are stating his numbers from the Euro Tour, you are not to be taking that into consideration. This is based solely on the PGA TOUR…or so we’re led to believe.

Donald’s Euro season is of no consequence to me nor should it be for anyone else. What more can you ask of a player than go into a tournament knowing he must win to even have a shot at a title, and that player does pulls off the victory? That is an accomplishment that cannot be dismissed in any way. I would put Donald’s Sunday performance as maybe the third best final round performance of the year (Schwartzel at The Masters and Hass at the TOUR Championship as #1 and #2).

Donald would have my vote (if I held one), but I’m not alone in that thought either. Ask Steve Flesch

"“Absolutely,” he said. “King Luke rules the golfing world.”"

I have a feeling Flesch is far from the only player to feel this way.

And Flesch has placed the crown on Donald’s head for 2011…right where it belongs.