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Rex Hoggard - November 13, 2012

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In his opinion, Rory McIlroy should be a unanimous choice for 2012 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and while he will win the award, it will not be a unanimous decision for a number of reasons including the fact that many players on the PGA TOUR are very insular and do not tend to vote for players who are world travelers as often as they would vote for players who make the PGA TOUR their exclusive home.

On the question of Rookie of the Year, you have a number of very worthy candidates and many PGA TOUR players look at quality of win when it comes to their vote. Some players look at Jonas Blixt’s win in the Frys.com Open as being the biggest win while others look at Ted Potter, Jr.’s win in The Greenbrier Classic in part because Tiger & Phil were in the field at The Greenbrier. Hoggard believes that John Huh will win the award because of the fact that he qualified for the Tour Championship and that will be enough to separate him from the other Rookie of the Year candidates.

It was very surprising that Comeback Player of the Year was not even offered for 2012. There are a number of worthy candidates including Tiger Woods and J.B. Holmes but Hoggard seems to think that the awarding of the honor to Steve Stricker in consecutive years soured many people on the award and as a result, it is not being handed out. Ben Curtis is another candidate for the award although he would have personally voted for J.B. Holmes. Looking ahead, if Jarrod Lyle were to make one start in 2013 after his battle against leukemia, he would win the Comeback Player of the Year on a unanimous vote.

On the subject of a possible ban on anchoring or on the long putter, the language of a potential ban if it were to involve anchoring would include stating that players will be allowed to have two points of contact between the body and the golfer. If that is indeed the case, a player could anchor his putter as long as he or she held it one hand or a player could anchor the putter to their forearm.

Charlie Beljan’s week at Disney where he went to the hospital on Friday and won on Sunday cannot be scripted even by the best Hollywood writers. It was truly an unbelievable circumstance and he found it difficult to figure what the doctors actually told Beljan on Friday at the hospital in relation to whether or not he should even try to play on Saturday. But regardless of what they said, he played and he won.

Looking ahead to 2013 and how 2012 rookies will perform, Hoggard said that he is looking for good performances from Jonas Blixt and Charlie Beljan. Both of them took some time to get that first win but both have been touted as players who could become incredibly successful once they broke through for their first PGA TOUR wins. Beljan’s 2013 season will now include the Hyundai Tournament of Champions as well as all of the invitational events and it was special to see Beljan express his excitement at exactly what this win meant for his life.