ORLANDO, Fla. – They took another two weeks to flesh out the season and this was the best the PGA Tour could do with regard to its top honor?
After an embarrassing scheduling mistake precipitated the delaying of ballot distribution for the 2011 Player of the Year until this week, the nominees were finally announced Wednesday.
As it turns out, maybe they needed more time.
The ballot lists five candidates and a brief thumbnail bio of each’s 2011 accomplishments. The ballots, mailed this week to tour members and due back by Dec. 9, isn’t notable for what’s included, but rather, what isn’t.
Three players – Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson and Mark Wilson – are not mentioned among those listed on the ballot.
Each of the trio won twice this season. In all, seven players won twice in 2011 on the U.S. tour, and nobody won thrice. Yet, while the threesome was omitted, Bill Haas was included, even though he won only once, against the smallest field of the year.
Haas won the 30-player FedEx Cup finale in Atlanta in a playoff, his lone victory of the season. Presumably, a certain company based in Memphis will be happy.
Sure, the race is realistically a three-horse affair with world No. 1 Luke Donald, major winner Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson, who had a breakout season, but would it have hurt to list all seven of the guys who won twice this season?
The tour said the nominees were determined by the player-members of the tour Policy Board and Player Advisory Council. PAC member Ben Crane said Wednesday that he did not recall specifically discussing the ballot issue.
“I agree that we needed Mark, Bubba and Stricker on there,” Crane said.
The tour can surely afford the paper and postage.
Here’s the full alphabetical listing of nominees and their performance thumbnails as distributed by tour brass Wednesday:
Entered 29 events during the 2011 season featuring playoff victories at the HP Byron Nelson Championship and the PGA Championship. Four top-10 finishes. Ranked 20th on the final FedEx Cup points list and 13th on the money list with $3,758,600.
Entered 19 events during the 2011 season featuring victories at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Led the tour with 14 top-10 finishes including a playoff loss at The Heritage. Ranked third on the final FedEx Cup points list and topped money list with $6,683,214, earning the Arnold Palmer Award. Earned Byron Nelson Award and Vardon Trophy for lowest adjusted scoring average.
Entered 27 events during the 2011 season featuring a victory at the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola that clinched the overall FedEx Cup title. Seven top-10 finishes including playoff losses at the Bob Hope Classic and Greenbrier Classic. Ranked first on the FedEx Cup points list and seventh on money list with $4,088,637.
Entered 26 events during the 2011 season, featuring victories at Wyndham Championship and a playoff victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Twelve top-10 finishes including playoff losses at the Zurich Classic and The McGladrey Classic. Ranked second on the FedEx Cup points list and second on money list with $6,347,353.
Entered 23 events during the 2011 season featuring victories at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the AT&T National. Had a total of 10 top-10 finishes. Ranked ninth on the final FedEx Cup points list and finished third on the money list with $5,290,673.