On Sept. 7, a PGA Tour release announced that Jon Rahm had won the PGA Player of the Year Award.

A point system made him the leader for this honor with 75 points. Rahm was followed by Bryson DeChambeau (70), Patrick Cantlay (60) and Collin Morikawa (54.)

Bill Kennedy, Golf Columnist

Rahm also won the Vardon Trophy for having the lowest average score among players who completed 60 rounds during the season. His scoring average was 69.300. Trailing Rahm were Dustin Johnson (69.619), Louis Oostheizen (69.714), Bryson DeChambeau (69.728), and Patrick Cantlay (69.736).

Rahm, who also won the U.S. Open, recorded the lowest gross score at the FedEx Tour Championship Sept. 2-5, as he and Kevin Na posted 266.

So, there is a strong case for Rahm being named PGA Tour Player of the Year.

That said, there also are valid reasons for Patrick Cantlay to be considered the No. 1 player on the PGA Tour this season. Cantlay took home for tour titles by winning the Zozo Championship on Oct. 22-25, the Memorial on June 3-6, the BMW Championship on Aug. 26-29, and most recently the FedEx Tour crown Sept. 2-5.

How does a player who has four PGA Tour victories in a single season get overlooked as Player of the Year? The point system says Rahm won that award, but in most individual sports, the player who wins the most events, comes out with the designation as its top player.

Then you could argue that Rahm’s statistics were better than Cantlay’s. Rahm had 15 top 10 and 18 top 25 finishes this season, while Cantlay was in the top 10 seven times and in the top 25 17 times.

Then there is money. Rahm earned $7,705,933 in “official money.” Cantlay made $7,638,805. As the FedEx Cup champion, however, Cantlay picked up a hefty $15 million, with Rahm taking the second prize of $5 million. So, whose bank account would you want to have for 2021?

Summed up: The debate goes on.

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Included among area players who are contending for the Dr. Leonardo Buck MSGA Player of the Year award with their point totals and position are: No. 7, Craig Chapman of Fox Ridge (55); T8, Brian J. Bilodeau, Martindale (50); T13, Jace Pearson, Martindale, and James Frost, Fox Ridge (25); T30, Dave Whitman, Norway (15); T35, David Luce, Poland Spring (10); T42, Seth Woodcock, Martindale, and Thomas Bean, Norway (2.5).

In the race for Senior Player of the Year, Thomas Bean, Norway is in fifth place (202.5); 19, Roland Myers, Martindale (80); T23, Bobby Myers, Martindale (60); 29, Dave Witman, Norway (46.25); T32, Russ Scudder, Martindale, and Stephen Gallagher, Poland Spring (40).

*****

The MSGA Men’s Fun Day will be Sept. 14 at Dutch Elm. The Charlie’s Cup Invitational will be Sept. 16 at Augusta.

Women’s Play Days are Sept. 14 at Toddy Brook and The Meadows.

 

Bill Kennedy, a retired New Jersey golf writer and editor now residing on Thompson Lake in Otisfield, is in his ninth season as Sun Journal golf columnist. 


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