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Would a Tiger Woods Win at the Tour Championship Muddy the Player of the Year Debate?

September 20th, 2012 at 10:51 AM
By Joe MacDonald

The general consensus of the golf media is that Rory McIlroy's four wins, that include the PGA Championship, have him as a lock for the PGA Tour's Player of the Year award.

'Tiger Woods' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license:

Unfortunately, the members of the golf media don't get to vote when the tour awards it's top prize later this year. That honor goes to the PGA tour players, and I'm wondering if a Tiger Woods' victory at this week's Tour Championship could change some of the voters' minds.

There's no doubt that McIlroy's run of good form over the last couple of months makes him a clear favorite. His major win will also be a big factor if he ultimately receives the honor. But a Woods' win at Eastlake could at least muddy the issue in some players minds.

A Tiger win at the tour finale would equal Rory for most wins on Tour this season with four. McIlroy would remain the Tour's leading money winner, no matter how the players finish – unless of course one or both decided to participate in some Fall series events, similar to what Luke Donald and Webb Simpson did last year.

With a victory on Sunday, Woods can claim to be the regular season leader in the FedEx Cup standings, as well as the overall Champion. Maybe that's not a major, but it's indication of a successful and consistent season, something that might appeal to the tour regulars. 

McIlroy hass been spectacular at the conclusion of the season, but did go through a long stretch of poor play during the spring and summer. Will the voters remember this and hold it against him?

If the players voted today, the young Irishman would certainly be the choice for the season's top player. But a Woods triumph on Sunday, especially a convincing one, could reverse the momentum.

It's just another possible scenario that makes this weekend so interesting. 

Here are the first round tee times (all time Eastern):

TimePlayer 1Player 2
11:35 amJohn SendenScott Piercy
11:45 amRickie FowlerRyan Moore
11:55 amWebb SimpsonJohn Huh
12:05 pmHunter MahanJustin Rose
12:15 pmAdam ScottErnie Els
12:25 pmBo Van PeltRobert Garrigus
12:35 pmCarl PettersonJim Furyk
12:45 pmLuke DonaldMatt Kuchar
12:55 pmSteve StrickerKeegan Bradley
1:05 pmBubba WatsonSergio Garcia
1:15 pmZach JohnsonJason Dufner
1:25 pmDustin JohnsonLee Westwood
1:35 pmBrandt SnedekerLouis Oosthuizen
1:45 pmNick WatneyPhil Mickelson
1:55 pmRory McIlroyTiger Woods



Tags: Eastlake, FedEx Cup, Golf, PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Tour Championship

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