PGA Tour Confidential: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or Adam Scott for Player of Year?

Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott
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Lydia Ko hits her tee shot on the 16th hole of the Canadian Open on Sunday. Ko won the event for her second LPGA win.

3. After all these years have you grown to appreciate the FedEx Cup?

SHIPNUCK: With a heavy heart I have to say yes. It gives us an extra month of great golf -- what’s not to love? I mean, except for the convoluted points system and endless promotion?

SENS: It beats the Tyco Golf Skills Challenge but you can't buy a rich legacy and the FedEx Cup remains a kind of just-add-water---or rather, just-add money---attempt at real sporting excitement. There's no green jacket, no iconic trophy. You need history and symbolism and a narrative with meaning for an event to feel like it really matters. The guys out there aren't thinking, "Boy, I really like to hoist that Cup!" They're thinking, "Boy, I'd like to further line my pockets." Hard to get too worked up over that.

GODICH: I'll admit that the FedEx Cup has grown on me. One of the appeals is the early round pairings, which, of course, are based on the standings. Who can't get excited about Tiger and Phil going head to head for 36 holes this week at the Deutsch Bank (with Adam Scott along for the ride)? Now, if the networks will just stop putting the projected standings on the screen in the middle of the second round.

RITTER: I like that we have big-time fields deep into August and September. And I think I just admitted that winning the $10 million might actually sway my POY pick. I’ll be damned. I guess it’s growing on me.

PASSOV: Not really. The competition is great and the venues mostly strong, but the tournaments themselves don't have a lot of individual identity, except maybe the Tour Championship/East Lake, and I neither understand, nor care about the points race.

WALKER: The $10 million prize strikes the wrong tone when a lot of people are struggling and the Tour Championship needs a bigger field, but I’m a FedEx Cup believer. Great fields make for meaningful golf in September.

MORFIT: I accept it for what it is and appreciate that it gets great fields and generates a modicum of late-season buzz.

4. Lydia Ko is at it again, winning the Canadian Open at age 16 for her second LPGA win. What's the greatest achievement by a teenager in golf history?

SHIPNUCK: We might be watching it with Ko -- she looks like she can win multiple majors as a teen. Jordan Speith going from no status to the Tour Championship is pretty amazing, too, and he did all the heavy lifting as a teen. But I’ll take Tiger Woods winning five-straight national championships, capped off with a final U.S. Amateur when he was 20. Mind-boggling.

PASSOV: I'd put Lydia Ko in the top 5. Nowadays though, just being a teenager isn't enough. You've got to a young teenager to truly impress. I still place Michelle Wie's near-missed cuts at two men's PGA Tour events, one when she was 14, the other at 15 at the top, followed closely by Tianlang Guan making the cut at this year's Masters, even after getting slapped with a slow-play penalty. Matteo Manassero's three wins as a teenager on the European PGA Tour (twice as a 17-year-old) is third, followed by Ko. I'll toss Ryo Ishikawa's 2007 win on the Japanese Tour at age 15 at No. 5, but, gosh, I'd like to find room for Rory's 61 at Royal Portrush at age 16.

GODICH: I'm going with Tiger's string of USGA Junior Am and U.S. Amateur championships. Think how many matches he had to win to keep the streak alive.

WALKER: Michelle Wie shooting 68 at the 2004 Sony Open at age 14. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that happened.

MORFIT: Tiger winning three straight U.S. Junior Amateurs followed by three straight U.S. Ams was pretty good, although he was 20 by the time he won his last U.S. Amateur.

RITTER: Toss-up between Tiger winning three straight U.S. Ams and Ty Tryon inexplicably appearing as a character in Tiger’s EA sports video game.

SENS: I know Ouimet was 20 when he won the 1913 Open. But just barely. He celebrated his birthday in May and won the Open in September. Given the event, and who he beat, I'm willing to grant him the three-month grace period and consider him a teen.

 

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