3. The PGA Tour Player of the Year award is done by player voting, but only the winner is revealed. Is it an issue that the Tour doesn't reveal the percentage of votes or even the runners-up, or no big deal?
VAN SICKLE: It's an issue. Baseball reports its MVP balloting. In golf, who's to say how many voted, who voted and if the guy who won really won if they're not going to supply the count? Ditto for the whole charity deal. The Tour won't reveal how much each tournament donated for charity but expects us to accept at face value that it is approaching $2 billion all-time. They probably are, but if I can't prove it, I'm not writing it.
SHIPNUCK: Less than a big deal. In fact, not a deal at all.
SENS: It’s an issue. Make all of the votes public, as baseball does with its Hall of Fame ballots and its MVP voting. Let the opinions be known. Let the controversies simmer. Honors aside, this should really be about stirring conversation and fan interest. Wouldn’t you like to know where all the candidates rate in the eyes of their peers?
MORFIT: I for one would like to know if Phil came just one vote shy of winning the thing, so yes, it's an issue. But the Tour is a closed shop, unfortunately. I'd like to know who's getting fined and for what, also, but that won't happen anytime soon, either.
RITTER: It's not a big deal, but I'd like to know the final results. And I bet most golf fans would like to know the final results. So why exactly can't we know the final results?
PASSOV: I'd definitely like to see more transparency here. We do it with every other sport, from baseball's MVP to college football's rankings -- let's see who came close and how close it was. If you want to shield how the players themselves voted, so be it, but make it more compelling for the fans.
WALKER: Golf fans would love to see the vote breakdown, i.e., what the players really think. I can see why the players don't want disciplinary action made public, but it's hard to understand why they want secrecy about the Player of the Year vote total.
BAMBERGER: The Tour does not like to share! Hall of Fame voting is secretive, too. If Tim Finchem and the Ponte Vedrans would dole out more info, there would be more spirited debate and that would be good for the game. But it’s not the Kremlin's style.
4. Given the globetrotting the top stars do and the year-round calendar for tournaments, is the PGA Tour Player of the Year vote, tied primarily to Tour performance, somewhat irrelevant?
PASSOV: I get why Wayne Levi beat Nick Faldo for POY in 1990. You're rewarding the guy who won four times on your Tour (Atlanta, Western, Hartford and Canadian). It just seems archaic now. All Faldo did was win the Masters and the British Open that year. He should have been POY by any measure, but he only played in eight U.S. tour events. Tiger was still my pick this year -- five wins, including a fistful against all-star fields -- but Mickelson deserves more credit for his Scottish Open win, at least as much as a John Deere, Memphis St. Jude or Frys.com winner would get. If Mickelson hits his PGA Tour minimum numbers to remain a member, his year should be judged on all tournaments, worldwide.
SHIPNUCK: Yeah, it's a little funky. If Stenson wins two or three more times in Asia this fall and takes the Race to Dubai you could a make a case that he's the global player of the year. This is why I like the Golf Writers Association of America’s POY -- it's not specific to one tour and takes into account a global body of work. Plus, it's done by the writers, some of whom are sophisticated enough to recognize this was Phil's year.
SENS: No. We’re still talking about the lion’s share of tournaments that really matter, based not just on reputation but on strength of field.
VAN SICKLE: It is irrelevant. In team sports, awards spotlight individuals who excelled. Golf is an individual sport to start with so the top players are already spotlighted. Golf has four Players of the Year. They're the guys who won the four majors. So let's dispense with the trophy.
RITTER: It does seem to be sliding toward irrelevancy. A lot of people tried to bolster Phil's candidacy this year by citing his win at the Scottish Open. That's not a PGA Tour event, so safe to say it didn't factor -- but it should, and that's the problem.
BAMBERGER: Well, no -- I think it's a serious honor to be recognized by your lodge brothers as being the dominant player. But a world player of the year, as Golf Magazine does, is a much more interesting thing.
MORFIT: It's irrelevant if you've won it as many times as Tiger has, and very relevant if you've never won it.
WALKER: Golf has too many ruling bodies giving out too many different awards. PGA Tour Player of the Year is pretty irrelevant. At the end of the day, what matters the most is the majors and the money list.