Ernie Els is making a bid toward earning his first PGA Player of the Year Award, while also leading one of the tightest races in many years for the Vardon Trophy.
The PGA of America's two prestigious season-ending awards for excellence by a Tour professional will come down to the consistency of each player in the final three months of the regular season.
Els has earned 60 points, based upon 20 points for capturing the World Golf Championships-CA Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational; along with garnering 20 points for sitting No. 1 in the season money list, and 20 more points for leading in adjusted scoring average (69.68).
Masters Champion Phil Mickelson is next with 56 points, including 18 for sitting No. 2 in money earnings and seventh in scoring (69.88). He is followed by Steve Stricker and Justin Rose, each two-time winners this year, with 44 points apiece.
The Vardon Trophy race – with four players separated by .10 of a point from one another – may end up coming down to the very last event of the season.
Els, with 54 recorded complete rounds – six below the minimum needed for award consideration – is in a race with Matt Kuchar (69.71), Stricker (69.75) and Rose (69.78) – all bidding for their first Vardon Trophy. Kuchar has played 75 rounds, Stricker 56 and Rose 64. Last year, Stricker was runner-up in both the PGA Player of the Year and Vardon Trophy races.
The PGA of America has honored the game's best players with The PGA Player of the Year Award since 1948. The award is presented to the top touring professional based on a point system for tournament wins, official money standings and scoring averages. Points are tabulated from Jan. 1, through the Children's Miracle Network Classic, which concludes Nov. 14.
Since 1937, the Vardon Trophy, named by The PGA of America in honor of famed British golfer Harry Vardon, is awarded annually to the touring professional with the lowest adjusted scoring average. It is based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA Tour. The adjusted score is computed from the average score of the field at each event.