The last putt has dropped, the ballots have been mailed and all that remains of the 2010 season is for the voters (PGA Tour players) to decide who deserves a post-season award. But unlike in years past the decisions are not entirely obvious.
For Player of the Year the race is down to Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk. Kuchar won the money title ($4.9 million), The Barclays, the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average (69.61) and had the most top-10 finishes (11). Furyk led the Tour in victories (3) – made even more impressive considering he won in the spring (Transitions Championship and Heritage) and fall (Tour Championship) – and collected the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus.
The race for Rookie of the Year may be even tighter. Rickie Fowler finished runner-up twice, was solid in his debut on the U.S. Ryder Cup team and led all first-timers with $2.8 million in earnings. Rory McIlroy had five top 10s, $2.5 million in earnings in 12 fewer events and, most importantly, was the only newcomer to win, lapping the field at the Quail Hollow Championship with a closing 62.
Even though the Tour didn’t award the Comeback Player of the Year trophy in 2010 and didn’t plan on giving it out this year, two players seem to deserve consideration. Dustin Johnson won the BMW Championship after losing a final-round lead at the U.S. Open and missed out on a playoff at the PGA Championship following a surreal rules snafu on the 72nd hole. Robert Garrigus claimed his first Tour title last week at Disney after losing a three-stroke lead on the 72nd hole at Memphis earlier this year and having emerged from drug rehab in 2003.
The ballots are in, make your choice.