A Quick Nine: Who will be Player of the Year?

Dustin Johnson
Squire/Getty Images
Despite a couple of days in majors he'd rather forget, Dustin Johnson has had a tremendous 2010 season.
By
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer
PGA.com

Series:

Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | 12:07 p.m.

The Tour Championship taking place at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta this week marks the end of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup. Several players have had an outstanding year on Tour, but whose year was the best?

In this week's, 'A Quick Nine,' feature, we asked our PGA.com Facebook fans this: As the season winds down, who is your choice for Player of the Year?

Here's what you had to say:

1. Matt Kuchar. It'd be hard to argue with anyone who picked the former Georgia Tech star and U.S. Amateur champion. Kuchar has had the kind of year players dream about. Not only has he been consistent and good, but he's been consistently good. For the season, Kuchar has a remarkable 18 top-25 finishes in 24 starts. Eleven of those were top 10s, highlighted by a win at The Barclays. He's also had a second-place finish and three third-place finishes, most recently at the BMW Championship, which has Kuchar in position to win the FedExCup this weekend.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Matt Kuchar hands down… no question." -- Glenn Lickness

"Matt Kuchar - easily." - Larry Smith

"Matt Kuchar, solid all year long." - Kyle Roebuck

2. Dustin Johnson. Absolutely a contender for Player of the Year Award, but better yet, if the award were for "Most Resilient Player of the Year," Johnson would take it with ease. Johnson had two meltdowns in a three-month period that most players don't experience even once in a career.

First, the U.S. Open. Johnson took a healthy three-shot lead into the final round at Pebble Beach, a course where he had won two times previously, including early in 2010. His Sunday stroll turned into one he'd like to forget, but one many in golf never will.

Johnson closed with a crushing 82 in the final round to tie for eighth. How did he respond? By nearly winning the PGA Championship. He famously took a one-shot lead into the final hole at Whistling Straits before costing himself a shot at another major when he grounded his club in a bunker and was assessed a two-shot penalty to tie for fifth and miss out on a playoff by one shot.

Johnson bounced back with a tie for ninth at the playoffs-opening Barclays and followed that with a victory at the BMW Championship, his second win of the season.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Dustin Johnson would be my vote with Kuchar in a close second. I really think that Dustin Johnson is going to finish in the top 5 and will win the FedEx cub too." -- Armando Rodriguez

"Dustin Johnson, Through the good weeks and the BAD weeks he has hung in there! My vote is DUSTIN JOHNSON." -- Billy Repasky

3. Phil Mickelson. After an incredibly strange/mediocre start to the season with not one top-10 finish on the West Coast Swing, which he typically dominates, Lefty went to Augusta National and quieted all the naysayers to win his third Masters title and fourth major overall. He's had four top-10 finishes since then, and revealed to the world that he is suffering from Psoriatic arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body's immune system attacks its own organs and tissues. The condition is rare, affecting about 1 out of 100 people in the general population.

Here's to hoping the pain and condition are manageable for Mickelson, because golf just as much fun without him.

Facebook fan quotes:

"Phil without a doubt!" - Gina Resa

"PHIL ALL THE WAY!" - Margo Taylor-Baughman

4. Bubba Watson. The 2010 season has been one of the breakout variety for Watson. He's racked up four top-10 finishes, highlighted by his first Tour win at the Travelers Championship. Watson also played well enough to nearly win his first major championship before losing in a three-hole playoff at Whistling Straits to Martin Kaymer.

Facebook fan quote:

"Bubba Watson!" - Peter A. Petrulo

5. Graeme McDowell. There are a lot of McDowell fans out there and rightfully so. He's a tremendous player. However, for player of the year honors on this side of the pond, he's come up a little short.

Sure, that win at the U.S. Open was remarkable and a career highlight. But other than that, he's played just nine other PGA Tour events with just one other top-10 finish - a tie for sixth at Doral.

Facebook fan quote:

"McDowell." - Nollaig Heffernan

6. Justin Rose. A big season on the PGA Tour has been a long time coming for golf's youngest journeyman, Justin Rose. So many close calls in the U.S., but until 2010, not one piece of hardware to show for his efforts. This year, however, everything has changed for Rose.

He's got four top-10 finishes, including two victories - the Memorial and the AT&T National - in three starts.

Facebook fan quote:

"Justin Rose by far!" - Euan Stubbs

7. Ryan Moore. To be a player of the year, you probably need at least one PGA Tour victory in that particular season. Moore doesn't have that yet, but does have four top 10s with a second and a third among them. If he is to pick a win off soon though, ideally this week, he certainly enters the Player of the Year conversation.

Facebook fan quote:

"Ryan Moore!" - Donna Swank-Saffle

8. Ernie Els. The 2010 season has been one of the best for the Big Easy in a long, long time. Nearly every time he tees it up, it seems, Els plays great. With 12 top-25 finishes, including two wins in just 19 events, few players have been more consistently good than Els in 2010.

Facebook fan quote:

"Ernie Els...it's not about how you made a whirlwind, from outta no-where charge it's consistency. He has been the most consistent golfer of the year, bar none. His closest competitor is Justin Rose." - Mike Troutman

9. Rory McIlroy. With a win at Quail Hollow and a tie for third at both the Open Championship and the PGA Championship, the young gun from Northern Ireland has justified his rock-star status on Tour in 2010.

Facebook fan quote:

"Rory Mac." - Tarrene Frost