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Could Tiger Not Win Player Of The Year?
By Kickntrue on 9/3/09
There is a (stupid) article today at PGATour.com that tries to make the argument that Tiger may not be the Player of the Year because he didn't win a major. The ONLY chance someone else has of winning POY is if one of the four major winners wins the next 3 FedExCup playoff events and steals the trophy and big check. Even if another person who has won on Tour this year wins the Cup- that can't be enough to do it.

Here are Eldrick's finishes this season:
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship T17
WGC-CA Championship T9
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard 1
Masters Tournament T6
Quail Hollow Championship 4
THE PLAYERS Championship 8
The Memorial Tournament 1
U.S. Open Championship T6
AT&T National 1
British Open Championship CUT
Buick Open 1
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational 1
PGA Championship 2
The Barclays T2

That is 12 top tens, 5 wins and a one CUT.

If anything- the only thing to say against Tiger is that he just doesn't play enough. Still, nobody can even come close. You have to assume he'll have 2 more Top 10's before the FedExCup is finished if not another win (think how ridiculous it is to assume with confidence top 10's). This isn't even an argument about who's the best. Everyone knows he's the best, but even defined simply as the best player THIS year, I'm not sure how there is even an argument. I realize it's a slow time of year and golf writers need to drum up a little drama, but this just isn't the place to find it.

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[ comments ]
greendevil says:
I concur; Tiger is undoubtedly the player of the year.
mjaber says:
I'd have to agree with the article. I don't think you can make the determination until we see how the Fedex Cup plays out. If someone other than Glover, Cink, Cabrera, Yang or Woods wins the Fedex Cup, then, yes, Tiger takes it. If, say, Yang takes Tiger down at the TOUR Championship in the final week in the final group for a second time this season... How do you give it to Tiger over a guy who beat him TWICE in one season when he was previously unbeaten?
mjaber says:
(continued) And when I say "previously unbeaten", I'm assuming Tiger is leading going into the final day of the final event.

I think if someone other than Tiger had Tiger's win/top ten numbers for this year, there wouldn't be an argument. If one of those 5 wins was a major, there wouldn't be a discussion about it. Let's face it, Tiger is held to a higher standard than the other pro's because he is Tiger Woods. He is the best player in the world. That being said, because he is the best player in the world, he is expected to win more and make more top tens. He also expected to NOT miss cuts and always be in contention on the final day. He has had some very un-Tiger-like results this season, and I think that's why there is a question.
Backquak says:
Tiger all the way, he plays the least number of tourneys and wins the most, who would even come close, only someone winning the next 3 with Tiger out of the top 10 would I even think someone else had a chance, maybe Steve Stricker has a chance, maybe.
mjaber says:
How many PGA Tour wins does it take to equal a win in a MAJOR? That, I think, is the question. There are about 36 (please correct the number if it's wrong) PGA tournaments, not including MAJOR championships. That makes a 9 to 1 ratio. So, do 9 regular PGA wins equal a MAJOR win? If so, then you need to keep the 4 major winners in the discussion about Player of the Year.

Personally, I lean toward Yang at the moment, since he was able to do what no one else has done, and beat Tiger after having a 54-hole lead.
klangdon says:
The argument here is really about the true importance of the Fedex Cup. If a golfer had won 2 majors this year there wouldn't be an argument, they would beat out Tiger. If someone wins 1 major and the Fedex and the powers-that-be don't make them player of the year, then its just validation that the Fedex Cup is nothing.
Banker85 says:
Tiger is going to win the Fedex Cup, so i say POY is also in the bag.
props123 says:
I think I should be player of the year. I have had to make way more shots out of the rough, out of the sand from behind trees. Because of my high handicap I am usually an underdog in every tournament that I go into. However, I have seen my handicap move down 7 points this year. Cleary an indication that I have improved significantly.

My point is, yes, Tiger is the best player in the world, but there may be another player out there that has done some amazing things that are enough to propel them to POY. If we see that Tiger's standings and finishes have dropped (they haven't) from previous years should they give it to a person that is more consistent year to year? A lot could happen yet. Trust me I want Tiger to be POY, but what about some of the players who have improved at all the events they have played in this year, etc. Do we need a "most improved" award instead?
wrhall02 says:
Was it a weird year (no majors and missed cut at the Open) for Tiger? Yes...but his stats are clearly worthy of POY.

My sentimental vote goes to Stricker, but Tiger's stats are hard to argue against.
mjaber says:
Well, I decided to look at the Player of the Year (POY) stats since its inception. Since 1990, when the POY voting began, there have been 5 winners who did not win a major. In each of those cases, the player who won lead the PGA Tour in wins.

There have been 7 instances where the POY only won 1 major, and in 6 of those years, the POY was also the leader in wins in the PGA tour. The one exception is 1996, when Tom Lehman was voted POY after winning the British Open. Phil Mickelson lead the PGA Tour in wins in 1996.

Since the Fedex Cup is only in its 3rd year, there isn't any good data to be able to make a pure statistical comparison.

Looking purely at that data, I'd say that there is precedent that Tiger, having lead the PGA Tour in wins this year will probably win the POY from a historical, pure numbers standpoint.
mjaber says:
(continued)I'm going to look at the POY winners who didn't win a major, and see how they performed in each major to see if there is any additional data I can ascertain.
mjaber says:
There has only been one instance in the history of the POY honors like the situation we are debating. In 1993, Nick Price was voted POY without winning a major, having missed the cut in 1 major, and leading the PGA Tour in wins. There are 2 differences. Nick Price won 4 events that year, but one of those wins was The Players Championship.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Tim Horan says:
He may well be player of the year but until he is a fully rounded sports personality and ambassador for the game he ain't getting my vote.
mjaber says:
Intersting story from golf.com


I like the last couple lines, where Stricker was asked if Tiger could get "Comeback Player of the Year"...

The reply:

"No," Stricker said. "The guy won with one leg."
[ post comment ]
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