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Golf Australia Express : Issue 15
By Damian Shutie Editor-in-Chief VIEW THE IT’S THAT time of the year when the PGA Tour’s biggest honour—Player of the Year—is to take place. The regular season, FedEx Cup and Fall series are done and dusted. The money list has been finalised, despite going down to the wire. It’s fair to say the PGA Tour Player of the Year title is now a three-horse two- time-winner race. And only one of them is a big name. This year there’ll be no Tiger Woods in the race— who incidentally has won 10 of the past 14 titles—but rather world No.1 Luke Donald, No.28 Keegan Bradley and first-time top tenner (at No.10 no less) Webb Simpson. Stellar years from the trio mount a case for any one of them to get the nod from their peers, who ultimately decide who’ll be crowned the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. (Veteran Fred Couples will no doubt still be picking Tiger, after all in his words TW is “the best player in the world forever.”) Many are tipping Donald to claim the title. His year has included a ranking rise to the top dog position, two wins including the WGC Accenture Match Play, 14 top 10s, a third FedEx Cup finish and the Tour’s money leader title. Of course his two European Tour wins can’t be included in the judgment (but they show us just how good his year has been). Then there’s the newest major winner, Tour rookie Keegan Bradley—who must be a shoo-in for the Rookie of the Year title regardless. Bradley’s two wins for the year came among strong fields at the Byron Nelson and the PGA Championship. He’s had four top 10s and 12 top 25s—not to mention recently winning the PGA Grand Slam of Golf where the year’s four major winners battle it out. And finally—as far as we’re concerned, anyway—is Webb Simpson. The American has had a breakout season, particularly the last half of it. He, too, has won twice—the Wyndham and Deutsche Bank championships. And it would have been three Ws but for an unlucky penalty at the Zurich Classic—he went on to lose in a playoff with Bubba Watson. (Interesting to note the rule that caused the penalty was changed by the R&A on Monday and will take effect from January 1, 2012.) Simpson has enjoyed 12 top 10s and 21 top 25s from 26 events, finished runner-up in the FedEx Cup and on the PGA money list. Again, the latter would have been different with a win at Zurich. Those three are the only real contenders. The question is, do you reward consistency, major wins or money? Over to you. OTG TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS: firstname.lastname@example.org PGA’s MR 2011 It’s between two Yanks and a Brit. Who gets your thumbs up? BIG THE HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE STATE OF THE GAME... Q *SEEBIGQIN ISSUE 14 FOR LAST WEEK’S POLL RESULTS.