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PGA Tour Confidential: Stenson's Big Win, TV Viewer Violations and Our Player of the Year Picks

Phil Mickelson
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Phil Mickelson won his first Open Championship in 2013, coming from five strokes back to capture the Claret Jug.

5. With the PGA Tour season over, the leading Player of the Year candidates are Tiger Woods (five PGA Tour wins including Players Championship, no majors), Adam Scott (two PGA Tour wins, including the Masters) and Phil Mickelson (two PGA Tour wins including the British Open, and the Scottish Open). Who is your Player of the Year?

SHIPNUCK: Phil. Can anyone name a single defining moment from any of Tiger’s wins? Didn’t think so. His play at the majors was so inexplicably bad it costs him my vote. Scott has a strong case, but Phil’s rousing win at the Scottish Open is the tiebreaker. To me, this isn’t the PGA Tour player of the year, it's a meta-award for the whole shebang. Phil also created more indelible moments than anyone, including his horseshoed putt that cost him a 59 in Phoenix and the take-that-Tiger 63 in Boston.

RITTER: It's Tiger, and to be honest, I don't think it's all that close. How many five-win seasons have we seen in the last 20 years?

MORFIT: Phil. When you think about it, that Scottish Open win should put him ahead of Adam Scott, and two regular wins and a major just seems stronger than Tiger's five regular wins. Phil owned the game in July and that's a good month to own the game.

WALKER: The Tiger crowd has won me over. Scott and Phil Mickelson each needed one more win if they were going to take this award from Tiger. Five wins, first in scoring and first on the money list is the best we’ve seen this year.

GODICH: I'll take Phil for his Sunday 66 at Muirfield. Bonus points for the bounce-back after another crushing disappointment at the U.S. Open.

BAMBERGER: Tiger had the most dominant year. By far. He played the best golf. Phil is my player of the year. His story is the one you can tell off the top of your head, and enjoy doing it.

SENS: Inbee Park, but if I had to pick a guy, Tiger. Five wins by any other player and there would be no debate.

PASSOV: Scott and Mickelson kind of cancel each other out, and Stenson's run, while heroic, covered half the year. Tiger's my pick for POY.

6. The PGA of America announced that the 2019 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup will be held at Bethpage Black on Long Island, the 2016 PGA Championship will be held at Baltusrol, the 2018 U.S. Open will be at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island and 2020 U.S. Open will be held at Winged Foot. The New York area also hosts the opening event in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Is the New York region getting too many big events? If so, where would you like to see these tournaments held?

PASSOV: I'm torn. We're talking three fabulous, historic courses in NY. I'm happy to welcome back majors at any of those. There's got to be a certain fatigue that sets in, however, with sponsors, corporate tents and such, and the opening of every telecast that hypes up the New York fan base, "People's Open," etc. I know that half the U.S. is off limits to the USGA and PGA, but there have to be some worthy venues away from the Met Area. Shoot, play a Ryder Cup in early October at the TPC Scottsdale. It would be nice to have 100,000 rowdy fans on hand, all of whom could actually see the action.

MORFIT: I'm happy for New York, and it only makes sense to go where the fans are. That said, I'd like to see some more big events in Northern California, which has proven a more than capable host with Pebble, Harding, Oly Club and others. Glad to see Silverado in Napa will be getting a Tour event again.

SENS: That's a lot of events, but the New York area has a huge population and probably the highest density of major championship worthy venues, so it doesn't really feel disproportionate. South Dakota getting two senators ... now THAT seems statistically out of whack. 

WALKER: The biggest market is going to get the biggest events, but that’s too much New York. I’d like to see more West Coast events, and I hope this year’s U.S. Amateur at the Country Club in Brookline means we’ll see another Open there.

GODICH: I've got no problem with the Open going back to Shinnecock for the first time in 14 years, and best I can tell, Ridgewood in 1935 was the last course in the New York metro area to host a Ryder Cup. That said, do we really need to book so many majors at Bethpage?

RITTER: Love the Ryder Cup coming to NYC. PGA Championship is fine too, but I'd like to see that one continue moving around the country, especially to the West Coast. When you're in the Eastern Time Zone, watching major championship golf in prime time is a special treat. We can handle more of it.

BAMBERGER: Well, for U.S. Opens, as Gary noted some years ago, all you really need is Oakmont and Torrey Pines. But I'm partial to New York. In part because I'm a native. In part because greater NYC is the second-best golf town in the country, after Philadelphia. (Sorry, Myrtle Beach.)

SHIPNUCK: Obviously. And the easy answer is the West Coast, where we have better weather and can offer prime time TV for most of the country. Why the heck does the FedEx Cup never come west? Does Finchem run out of NetJet hours this time of year?

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