Tiger Woods leads contenders for PGA Tour Player of the Year Award

Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods would appear to be a heavy favorite to win the Jack Nicklaus Award as PGA Tour Player of the Year for the 11th time, thanks to five wins on the 2013 season.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 | 5:48 p.m.

ATLANTA – Tiger Woods has wrapped up at least one award as player of the year. Woods has won the PGA of America's points-based award for player of the year on the strength of his five PGA Tour victories, the money title and the Vardon Trophy. 

Adam Scott would have had to win the Tour Championship and the Vardon Trophy for the race to end in a tie. 

Earlier this month, Woods wrapped up the Arnold Palmer Award on the PGA Tour for winning his 10th money title with just over $8.5 million. 

Steve Stricker won the Byron Nelson Award by the narrowest of margins, averaging 68.945 per round to Woods' 68.985. Unlike the more prominent Vardon Trophy, the Byron Nelson does not require a player to have at least 60 rounds. Stricker played 51 rounds this season, 10 fewer than Woods. 

Still to be determined are PGA Tour awards for player of the year and rookie of the year. Both are a vote of the players, and the electronic ballots were to be returned quickly for a Friday announcement. 

Woods would appear to be a heavy favorite to win the Jack Nicklaus Award as player of the year for the 11th time. While he didn’t win a major, his five wins were three more than anyone else on tour, and he won the money title. Woods has two World Golf Championships and The Players Championship among his five wins. 

"Well, look at the fact that I had five wins this year," Woods said after closing with a 67 at East Lake. "So I think that's a pretty good year." 

The challenge comes from British Open champion Phil Mickelson and Masters champion Adam Scott. Both won majors with historical significance. Mickelson's closing 66 at Muirfield is regarded as one of the best final rounds in a major, and it happened at the major not many thought he could ever win. Scott ended a half-century of Australian heartache at Augusta National as the first Aussie in a green jacket. Mickelson also won the Phoenix Open, while Scott won The Barclays against one of the toughest field in golf. 

Woods said he was "very satisfied" with his season, even though it was his fifth straight year without a major. 

"I had a number of chances to win some tournaments," Woods said. "I won five, which I think is a pretty good year. I've done that a few times over the course of my career. I wish I would have been a little more consistent in some of the events. But overall, at the end of the day, to add to the win total for the year, it's always a good thing." 

The PGA Tour rookie of the year should be an easy vote. On the ballot of 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, who started the year with no status on any tour. He not only won the John Deere Classic, he reached the Tour Championship and was selected for the Presidents Cup team. 

Russell Henley (Sony Open), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship) and Patrick Reed (Wyndham Championship) were the only other rookies to win this year. None made it to the Tour Championship.