Color me eight-shades-of-not-so shocked — Tiger Woods was voted 2013 Player of the Year, while Jordan Spieth was chosen by his peers as Rookie of the Year.
Tiger, 37, earned his record 11th-career PGA Tour Player of the Year award. In 16 starts on Tour, Woods won five times, the 10th time in his career that he has notched five or more victories in one season. His wins in order were — in case you need help remembering — the Farmers Insurance Open, World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, The PLAYERS Championship and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Tiger was also the season leader in FedExCup points and finished second to Henrik Stenson in the season-long FedExCup marathon.
Not only did Tiger earn PGA Tour POY, he also won his 11th PGA of America Player of the Year Award, his ninth Vardon Trophy for Adjusted Scoring Average (68.985) awarded by the PGA of America, and his 10th Arnold Palmer Award as the Tour’s leading official money winner ($8,553,439). My God.
With 79 PGA Tour wins, Tiger will head into the 2013-14 Tour season just three wins shy of Sam Snead’s all-time record of 82. Think he’ll pass Snead next year? Probably. I mean, Tiger will definitely win Torrey, Bay Hill and Firestone. Doral is up in the air next year since Donald Trump demolished the Blue Monster the week after the WGC in March.
Woods was chosen to win the Jack Nicklaus Trophy for Player of the Year over Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson.
I’ll update this with quotes from Tiger and Spieth in a bit. I’ve gotta run. Big day ahead of me! <smiley face> So, for now, please discuss who would have received *your* player of the year vote.
Woods said the most significant of his five wins was The Players Championship.
“I think it’s probably THE PLAYERS just because I’ve only played really well there twice in 2000 and 2001, once losing to Hal and the other one winning,” he said. “I basically haven’t had a lot of success there and then to put it together this year and to win there against that quality of a field is a great feeling.”
Woods also complimented Spieth of his incredible finish.
“First of all, congratulations to Jordan,” said Tiger. “To start off the yearwith no status and to have won a tournament and not only that get to the TOUR Championship and finish in the Top 10 on the money list is pretty incredible. He’s a deserving champion, and I’m looking forward to having him as part of the team next week.”
Asked if Spieth demonstrates any qualities that remind Tiger of him at that age, Woods said his self-belief.
“If you look at each year how he’s progressed, he kept getting better and better, more comfortable and more consistent, and ultimately winning the John Deere and playing extremely well the rest of the year as well and getting into the TOUR Championship and then finishing second there,” said Tiger.
“Certainly, I think the inner belief in one’s self is certainly key, and I think Jordan demonstrates that.”
Spieth still hasn’t let it all sink in because he’s focused on the Presidents Cup next week.
“I don’t know if it’s a pinch‑me moment yet,” said Spieth, referring to his entire season. “I think my mind is still really on next week. I haven’t really had time to sit back and think about it. But, yeah, with no status has hard to expect or think about something like this happening. I have confidence in myself and my support team definitely believed in me to get the job done. Just the way the yearran the way it happened, I feel very fortunate, very blessed. A lot of luck involved. All in all, when I look back in a few weeks I think it might sink in a little more. But as for now, I’m looking forward to Thursday.”
What would Tiger and Jordan like to improve on next season?
Q. The question is what would be a great follow‑up year to this for each of you?
JORDAN SPIETH: For me, this year was phenomenal. But honestly, the majors left a bad taste in my mouth. I played in three of them. I had only played in one before in my life. I made the cut at the British, was playing well there, but I missed the cut here at home in the PGA and U.S. Open. But those are the tournaments that you look at the beginning of the year, and you gear up for them. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why we’re all playing is to win major championships.
A little disappointed. I was playing so well leading up to them, striking the ball great at the tournament, practice rounds went well, and then just didn’t have it, whatever it was. I think nextyear I’m really going to focus on those. Maybe build a schedule or game plan around how to have success and maybe compete at those four events, and I think that would be a better year for me.
TIGER WOODS: I think the same for me as Jordan was saying is to do a little bit better in major championships. I’ve put myself there with a chance on the back nine on two of them, and wish I could have done it on all four. But the same goal each and every year is to win at every event I tee it up in. That doesn’t change. That’s been my goal since I turned pro back in ’96. I’ve had a decent winning percentage, but sure would like to improve on that.
Congrats, Jordan and Tiger.
(Getty Images/Kevin Cox)