Three leading contenders for PGA Player of the Year



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Three leading contenders for PGA Player of the Year

The PGA tour will conclude its disjointed and disrupted golf season at the Tour Championship, where golf giants will battle it out for the FedEx Cup and the $15 million that goes with it. Six of these players stand out as the most likely to succeed in winning the FedEx Cup, but who will be voted Player of the Year? Rory McIlroy won this prestigious trophy and honor last year.

There’s an argument for each of these tour pros. But if Johnson, Rahm, or Thomas were to win this week that would almost certainly mean also being voted Player of the Year. Less clear, however, is who will take home Player of the Year honors.

Five golfers—Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Webb Simpson, Collin Morikawa and Brendon Todd—come into this week with two wins apiece this season.

Justin Thomas’ choice for PGA Tour Player of the Year is clear.

“Me,” he said Thursday at East Lake Golf Club when asked who would get his vote.

Although it’s not quite the normal response for a golfer, he does have a point. Thomas reached No. 1 in the world again for a brief time this year after winning the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. He has the edge on the others in the race, having three wins for the 2019-'20 season.

In addition to his victory in Memphis, Justin Thomas, who won Player of the Year honors in 2017, also beat Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele in a playoff at a wind-swept Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in January and won the CJ Cup during the fall portion of the schedule.

He was a non-factor in the season’s only major, T-37 at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, but he did have five other top 10s, including a playoff loss at the Workday Charity Open and a third-place finish in Phoenix.

“I think this week will help decide that,” Dustin Johnson, the current world No. 1, said when asked the same question as Thomas. “I think right now it’s really close”. How Johnson has only a two-stroke lead to start the Tour Championship after finishing first and second in the first two playoff events is a topic worth discussing, but those performances certainly strengthen his Player of the Year case.

So does a win at the Travelers Championship and a runner-up at the PGA Championship. Johnson was Player of the Year in 2016. Like Johnson, Jon Rahm has been No. 1 in the world this year. His two victories were impressive: He beat Johnson in a playoff last week on a challenging Olympia Fields and swung to a three-stroke win at the Memorial.

He also finished second at the Farmers Insurance Open and tied for third at the WGC-Mexico Championship. At the PGA, Rahm finished six back of Morikawa in a tie for 13th. Other players that definitely stand a chance to win Player of the Year is Webb Simpson, Collin Morkawa and Brendon Todd. However, they will have to fight like warriors to beat the likes of Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm.