Dustin Johnson won the silver trophy as the FedEx Cup champion. And it looks like he will soon be receiving another one. This one is a bronze variety in the image of Jack Nicklaus. The vote for PGA Tour player of the year is happening soon.
As winner at East Lake Johnson is thought to be the front-runner. Johnson’s victory gave him three titles this season, tied with Justin Thomas. The PGA Player of the Year award has been in existence since 1948. However, in 1990, the PGA Tour and PGA of America created separate Player of the Year awards, both still awarded today.
The PGA Tour Player of the Year award is voted on by PGA Tour membership which competes in at least 12 tournaments in a season. The winner of the award receives the Jack Nicklaus trophy. The PGA of America Player of the Year award is points-based, given to the player that accumulates the most points in a season.
Points are awarded as follows: 30 points for winning the PGA Championship, U.S. Open, British Open or Masters
20 points for winning The Players Championship
10 points for winning all other designated PGA Tour events.
50-point bonus for winning two majors, 75-point bonus for winning three & 100-point bonus for winning four.
For top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour’s official money and scoring average lists for the year, the point value is: first, 20 points, then 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2.
Any incomplete rounds in the scoring average list will result in a .10 penalty per incomplete round.
Since 1992, the PGA Tour and PGA of America Player of the Year award has gone to the same person. Tiger Woods has the most PGA of America and PGA Tour Player of the Year awards with 11 each. Woods won five consecutive PGA of America and five PGA Tour Player of the Year awards from 1999-2003.
With the short turnaround to the new season – two days between the final putt at East Lake and the opening drive at the Safeway Open in California – the ballots were going out this week to the players. For the PGA Tour player of the year, the candidates were Johnson, Thomas, PGA champion Collin Morikawa (two wins), Webb Simpson (two wins) and Jon Rahm (two wins).
Thomas will get a trophy from the PGA of America for its points-based award for player of the year. Because golf was not played for three months, the race ended before the Tour Championship. Thomas won on the strength of three wins (each worth 10 points), 20 points for winning the money list and 16 points for being third in scoring average.
Webb Simpson wrapped up the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average. Thomas won the money list with $7,344,040. It was the third time in the last four years Thomas has won the money title, even though the tour stopped presenting an award for that.
More interesting, though, will be the vote for PGA Tour rookie of the year.
The race is between Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland, with Harry Higgs and Maverick McNealey added to the ballot. Hovland is the only rookie to have won this year.
He showed his stuff at the Puerto Rico Open the same week as the World Golf Championship in Mexico City where Scheffler was playing. They were the only rookies to reach East Lake where Scheffler had a 66-65 weekend to finish alone in fifth.
Hovland tied for 20th at the Tour Championship. What it comes down to in the end, is how much players who vote value a victory, even against a weak field that didn’t include anyone from the top 50. Scheffler had seven top 10s, compared with three for Hovland. He also played in the final group at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fourth.