The First Call readers offer their thoughts on who should be the PGA Tour's Player of the Year, which ultimately went to the Texan who won four times in 2022, including the Masters
Question of the week [Sept. 5-11]: The PGA Tour nominees for Player of the Year are Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith. Which player is the most deserving and why?
Editor's note: On Saturday, Sept. 10, the PGA Tour announced Scottie Scheffler as the 2022 Player of the Year. Scheffler won four times, including his first major championship at the Masters, and set the single-season record for earnings with $14,046,910. Scheffler also became the first player to win the Korn Ferry Player of the Year, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and PGA Tour Player of the Year awards.
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My vote would be with Rory McIlroy. Both Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith were superbly outstanding this year and made for very exciting TV. Cameron's move to LIV was disappointing and does color my feelings. Scottie has, so far, held fast with the PGA Tour. Rory not only played exceptionally well, but demonstrated that his conviction to his own principles were more important than money (not that he needs it). No doubt Rory and Tiger Woods will be strong influencers going forward for positive changes within the PGA Tour, but they also demonstrated their appreciation and loyalty for the principal of “dance with them that brung ya.”
For Player of the Year, I’d choose: 1, Phil Mickelson; 2, Dustin Johnson; 3, Cameron Smith.
Phil Mickelson: For pointing out the tone-deafness of the PGA Tour leadership and risking his legacy by making the move to LIV. Yes, he was richly compensated for doing so, but we now see how the PGA Tour is following LIV’s lead on some things — money, limited fields, fewer "big" tournaments, etc. And for the sake of professional golfing history, I hope Phil’s legacy is intact.
Dustin Johnson: For being the big name that he is, and still, sort of in his prime, going to LIV. The guy can still put it up with anyone on any tour and further made people take notice of LIV.
Cameron Smith: For showing that it’s not just "all old guys and no-names" going to LIV. Having just won the British Open, he’ll force the majors and Official World Golf Ranking to consider the inclusion of LIV players.
You didn’t ask, but I’ll suggest another controversial, but fun, topic. Since the PGA and DP World tours seem intent on wrecking the Ryder Cup, let’s see a PGA vs. LIV competition in a Ryder/Presidents Cup format. As I looked over the leaderboard of the recent LIV event in Boston, my reaction was “Wow, there are a lot of big names on this list." There are a high number of LIV players who shine in match play — Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, DJ, Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Anirban Lahiri, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Kopeka, Abrahma Ancer, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood, Louie Oosthuizen, Paul Casey and Kevin Na.
It’d be a great show. We know the PGA Tour would never do it because if it lost, they would have to quit the boasting that they have the best players. Perhaps a little humility would go a long way to mending the fences among the tours and players.
Is this the perfect time to ask, "Is this award always just about wins and monetary benefit?"
I’m thinking Rory McIlroy due to his impact on the overall events of the year.
Rory McIlroy. “Nef Sed.”
Cameron Smith should be Player of the Year because he won the Players Championship, which has the strongest field. And he capped it off by winning the Open Championship, which is another very strong field. Playing against 29 guys in the FedEx Cup is weak.
I vote for Scottie Scheffler
Rory McIlroy, without a doubt. He was the representative for the PGA Tour in all manners. And despite all that extra work with the media, upped his game and played great golf through the end of the season. I am a renewed fan of that gentleman.
Player of the Year: Scottie Scheffler
He won four times and became No. 1. Enough said.
Scottie Scheffler for Player of the Year. His four victories, a major, all-time money earnings record for a season and a handful of high finishes edges out Cameron Smith. How about Rory McIlroy for PGA Man of the Year? All for his body of work with the media in support of the PGA Tour, plus some fine play on the course as well.
Tough call between Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy. Obviously with the migration of Cameron Smith to LIV, he is probably going to be next in terms of Player of the Year. They took away his picture and his parking spot at the TPC Sawgrass, so I don’t give him a whole lot a chance to be voted in. Both Scheffler and McIlroy have strong merits and certainly with McIlroy winning the FedEx Cup, he definitely receives strong consideration. At the end of the day, though, I need to give the nod to Scottie. I think week-in and week-out over the course of the year he demonstrated everything that you want a champion to be and then some. So count me in for one vote for Scottie.
The Villages, Florida
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