Friday, September 11, 2015
Poll Results: PGA TOUR Player of the Year
* Jason Day - 36%
* Jordan Spieth - 58%
* Someone Else - 6%
For the record, I chose Spieth. His play in this year’s four majors was second to none - winning two and contending to the end in the other two.
+Eighteen Under Par agreed: “Such a tough decision, Day and Spieth have played so well this year. We'd have to give it to Spieth though, especially with two Major wins and contending in the other two, too.”
+David Bastyr put his decision in historical perspective: “Had to go with Jordan Speith. What he did this year was so rare that only the top legends of the game could compare to his success. Jason is by far the most improved player of the year but Jordan beat him by becoming the most accomplished of the year, it was a close race though.”
Close was +Katherine Cornelius’ call, as well: ”Respect them both (Day and Spieth). major talent. Tough choice but went with Spieth.”
“So hard to pick one,” she added.
Easy win for Spieth, right? Not so fast.
+Victor Calderon said: “Day all the way. Fowler a very close second.”
So, not only did Spieth not “win” Calderon’s vote, he didn’t even get a runner-up. Why?
“Part of Spieth's climb was way too easy,” Calderon reasoned. “Defaulting to first place is not an honorable climb ... IMHO. I have nothing but respect for Spieth, his victories, his superior skills and professionalism. The man is class act. There's no denying that. Does he deserve player of the year? Simply ... No.
“Day’s climb was a very hard-fought battle,” he continued. “His last victory at Barclays was testament. And his very apparent "emotional" walk to the 18th green was a testimony to his fight. Deserving of player of the year? A very resounding yes.
“Fowler, coming from a somewhat similar background and at one point this year was once branded as "Overrated" by his professional peers. Having known this, he felt an overwhelming urge to prove his worthiness of contention and did so by edging out Garcia in a nail-biting playoff at the Players earlier this year. And lest we forget [the Deutsche Bank] "cool as a cucumber" victory. Stealing it away from Henrik "Man of Steele" Stenson by one tiny stroke. Deserving of Player of the Year? Yes!”
I don’t deny that Day and Fowler have had terrific years and both deserve consideration. I love watching them and look forward to seeing them compete for years to come. Not sure about Spieth’s climb being “too easy” or “defaulting” to first place. Perhaps Calderon was talking about the Official World Golf Ranking? I think we can all agree that the system is flawed and missing back-to-back cuts, but rising to No. 1 is odd, at best.
Rankings aside, Spieth’s body of work is too much to overlook. His poor play recently, combined with Day’s hot streak, may make the vote a lot closer than it would’ve been a month ago. Take away the “Prisoner of the Moment” factor and Spieth is my 2014-15 PGA TOUR Player of the Year.