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Tour Confidential: The final word on the 2013 POY, Rory McIlroy's engagement and the most beautiful hole in golf

Adam Scott
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Adam Scott's performance in Australia late in the year supplemented his case for the Player of the Year Award.

Every Sunday night, Golf.com conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

1. In 2013, Tiger Woods won a players’ vote for PGA Tour Player of the Year, Phil Mickelson won Golf Magazine's version and this past week, the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) selected Adam Scott as its POY, by a five-vote margin over Woods. Who was the most deserving POY?

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@GaryVanSickle): The split vote says it all. It was effectively a dead heat. As Billy Martin once said in a beer commercial, "I feel very strongly both ways."

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): All of the above. Because of its publishing schedule, Golf Magazine had to make its decision after the majors, and Phil was the best choice then, coming off his incredible July. At the end of the Tour season, Tiger’s five domestic wins and season-long consistency made him a solid choice among his peers. But Adam Scott’s incredible run in December tipped the scales for the GWAA membership, which doesn’t vote until the end of the calendar year. Each pick makes sense to me.

Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine (@JoshSens): Adam Scott finished stronger and Mickelson was a good sentimental choice for his long-last breakthrough at the British. But taken as a whole, Tiger's season, highlighted by five wins, still qualifies him as POY, IMHO.

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, Golf.com (@eamonlynch): It's a coin toss between Mickelson and Scott. Both won a major, one other PGA Tour event, and had international success (in Scotland and Australia, respectively). Sure, Tiger wins the "PGA Tour" player of the year, but ask Mickelson or Scott if they'd swap their seasons for five non-major wins on the PGA Tour.

Joe Passov, senior editor, courses and travel, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): Such a close call. Scott's end-of-the-year Aussie conquest was really impressive, albeit against suspect competition. He did win the Masters, had two other top 5s in majors, and his come-from-behind Barclays win was special. However, Tiger's five wins came on the top tour, each with muscular fields, and he pretty much shut it down after the Tour Championship. I'll give it to Tiger, by a five-vote margin.

Jeff Ritter, senior editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): Woods deserved PGA Tour Player of the Year for winning five times on that tour. The GWAA and Golf Magazine look at worldwide performance for its awards, so it comes down to Scott vs. Phil. I'd give it to Phil by a nose, because his Sunday at Muirfield was the single best round at a major last year, and it was such an improbable victory on the heels of what happened at Merion. Taking everything into account, Phil is the player we'll most remember from 2013.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated (@MarkGodich): Since we're talking the entire calendar year, it has to be Scott. He won a major, and those late wins in Australia capped off the best year in golf.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Inbee Park, of everybody. Of the trio offered, Adam Scott, because of his Australian run.

2. Johnny Miller predicted that Justin Rose will take over the No. 1 ranking from Tiger Woods in 2014. Who do you think will be No. 1 at the end of 2014 and why?

BAMBERGER: Tiger will be No. 1 by the computer's math, I think, and Adam Scott will be No. 1 in our minds. Steve Williams, allegedly in his final full year as a caddie, can't hit the shots for Scott, but he scares him into playing with intensity, and that seems to be something Scott needs. Plus, Scott can still anchor for now. Get it while you can. But Tiger's still the best player.

RITTER: It'll still be Tiger. The majors set up so well for him this year, and even if he doesn't win one you've gotta think he'll finish top 10 in three out of four. Toss in a few PGA Tour titles and the math just supports Woods staying on top all year long.

SENS: Adam Scott. After years of being this close (finger and thumb held up a small distance apart) his confidence has caught up with his raw talent. Until he's forced to go back to a conventional putter, I don't see anything slowing his ascent.

PASSOV: As long as the broomstick is still legal, Adam Scott gets my vote. His swing is better than ever, and he seems unflappable, especially now that the major monkey is off his back. Week to week, no matter what the course or the conditions, he seems most likely to rise to the top.

LYNCH: If Adam Scott continues playing beautifully and with the self-belief that seemed missing for so long, he could well be No. 1. But since even Tiger's poor weeks still usually result in a high finish, I expect he'll still top the rankings at year's end.

GODICH: Tiger Woods. He won't get his 15th major, but he'll win where he always does: Torrey, Doral, Bay Hill, Firestone -- take your pick. A couple of wins will be enough to comfortably keep him No. 1.

VAN SICKLE: I wouldn't be in a hurry to discount Tiger's current reign at No. 1. He's not the Tiger he was, but this just in, he did win five times in 2013. If he wins five more in 2014, even if they're not majors, he'll be tough to overtake. I'll stay with Tiger.

SHIPNUCK: Scott. He has found the formula for peaking at the majors and other big events, where you rack up the most points.

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