Who Will Be Selected As Golf’s Player of the Year in 2018

I always wondered how the selection process works for professional golf’s player of the year. It is a time- honoured tradition and at first I thought I understood the process. Apparently, there are two professional golfer’s player of the year award; one called PGA Player of the Year and the second called PGA Tour Player of the Year. Who knew? I guess I did, but never really paid that much attention. Did you know there were two awards?

The PGA Player of the year from 2017 was Justin Thomas. He was award the honour by: PGA of America based on a points system since 1982. Golfers earn points for accomplishments throughout the PGA Tour season—wins, top 10 finishes, bonus for wins in majors, plus the player’s standing on the money list and season scoring average rankings. (Thougthco.com)

The PGA Tour Player of the Year for 2017 was Justin Thomas. Beginning in 1990, the PGA Tour started handing out its own award. The tour’s award winner is selected through a vote by PGA Tour members once the season ends. The winner of the vote receives the Jack Nicklaus Trophy. (Thoughtco.com)

Interestingly, the winner of The PGA Tour Player of the Year has match the PGA Player of the year exactly except for the first two years (1990, 1991). So the question needs to be asked, “If the lists are the same, is there a requirement for tow awards?”

In previous years like the Tiger Woods era, there would be no requirement for the two awards. The player that won the awards just dominated the season and his competitors understood the level of play allowed them to rise above the rest. However, in 2018 we might see a divergence in the list! I can honestly say about 5 players that can walk away with the PGA Tour Player of the Year, it is not a mortal lock like previous years.

First, the PGA Player of the Year. This is a mathematical equation and the result may or many not surprise you. The latest standings I found was from July 23 at PGA.com. The top 5 are: Tied for first was Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose; 3rd Justin Thomas; 4th Francesco Molinari; 5th Bubba Watson. I am sure that list has changed but you get my point.

The PGA Tour Player of the Year is going to be different. This is much a popularity contest as paying respect to your fellow competitor. This year it is wide open. Throughout the year several people have dominated.

  • With 3 wins on Tour this year, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson are in the hunt. But unless Bubba wins a FEDEX Cup tournament, I do not see him winning player of the year in 2018.
  • What about Brooks Keopka? Two major wins, but never really did much else throughout the year. But two Majors is an amazing feat.
  • Lets throw Bryson Dechambeau in the mix. If he wins the FEDEX Cup, how can you not consider him since he won three other times on tour?
  • There is Jason Day, Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose out there that should be considered! A win in the the FEDEX Cup might be the nudge required to walk away with player of the year honours.

As you can see, the player that wins the PGA Player of the Year may not be the same as the PGA Tour Player of the Year! Personally, I think this is a good thing. What is the point of having two awards that always have the same results.

What do think? Secondly, who is your pick for PGA Tour Player of the Year?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

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4 thoughts on “Who Will Be Selected As Golf’s Player of the Year in 2018

  1. Jim,
    Not too sure why the PGA/PGA Tour have separate awards, this could make fans confusing. Typically, if you win a major you will likely end up winning both awards, so with that said it has to be Brooks Koepka. Because of recency bias you could throw in DeChambeau, but even if he say wins another tournament and the FedEx Cup, I still don’t believe that is enough to beat out Koepka and his two major victories.
    Thanks for sharing, and bringing up this topic!
    Sebastien

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, excellent questions. I think that golf has inadvertently messed this one up. With the two PGA player awards you mention, FedEx champion, and world golf ranking, what’s a fan to look at? IMO, everything takes a back seat to major championships. Through that lens, the vision becomes clear. Koepka is a lock.
    Sometimes we just need to simplify a little.
    Thanks, great post!
    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

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