Will Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy Capture Player of the Year on the PGA Tour?Written by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Tiger won three tournaments in 2012 after his debacle in the final round at Pebble Beach in February.
His win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational was his first official PGA Tour full field tournament win since the 2008 U. S. Open. Tiger did win the Chevron last December but it was a small field invitational event.
He showed us a little glimmer of “old-Tiger” again at the Honda when he shot a final round 62 and finished runner-up to Rory McIlroy.
He struggled in the majors in 2012. He was never a factor at the Masters finishing T-40, and had that rather ungentlemanly club kicking incident.
He then missed the cut at the Wells Fargo and had another T-40 at the Players. Tiger rebounded again to win the Memorial at Muirfield Village for his second win of the year.
Tiger led the U. S. Open through 36 holes before he went backwards on the weekend and finished T-21 but he bounced right back in his next start and won the AT&T National at Congressional.
After another missed cut at the Greenbrier, he had T-3 at the Open Championship, T-8 at the WGC-Bridgestone, and T-11 at the PGA Championship.
In the first tournament of the FedEx Cup the Barclays Tiger shot 68-69 and then stumbled to 72-76 on the weekend and fell to T-38. It moved him down to No. 3 in the FedEx Cup standings heading into the Deutsche Bank.
Tiger shot 68-66 in the last two rounds to finish third at the Deutsche Bank. He is now No. 3 in the FedEx Cup rankings with two events remaining.
Rory McIlroy won his third event of the year at the Deutsche Bank and took over first place for the FedEx Cup. In addition he is now No. 1 on the PGA Tour money list and the Official World Golf Rankings.
Rory was runner-up when Hunter Mahan beat him at the WGC-Accenture Match Play in February but he came back the very next week and won at the Honda and picked up a third place finish at the WGC-Cadillac at Doral.
After Doral Rory went a short walk-about as the Aussies would say. In his next seven events he had three missed cuts and only two top-10’s.
He decided to hire his long time coach on a full time basis and went to work. Rory said he found something at the WGC-Bridgestone and he has been on a tear ever since.
He was T-5 at Akron, won the PGA Championship, had a T-24 at the Barclays and just won the Deutsche Bank for his third win in 2012.
The next two FedEx Cup Playoff events the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship will decide the PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Both Tiger and Rory are playing well right now. It is the classic battle youth versus experience.
Tiger is still trying to exercise his off course demons and get it done with a 36 year old body on 60 year old legs. Rory is too young to have any problems and is just reaching his potential with the enthusiasm only a 23 year old can possess.
Tiger has won PGA Player of the Year ten times, Rory is seeking his first such honor.
Right now Rory’s three wins including the PGA Championships trumps Tiger’s three wins. A win for either in the next two events and hoisting the FedEx Cup will decide the Player of the Year on the PGA Tour for 2012.