Well past the midway point of the 2022 season, Scottie Scheffler was on an absolute heater. While that victory pace may have cooled over the final couple months, Scheffler capped a dream season Saturday by capturing the 2022 PGA Tour Player of the Year award. Scheffler, 26, received the nod from his peers -- the award is voted on by other PGA Tour players -- over Rory McIlroy and Cameron Smith after picking up four wins at tournaments that ranked among the top 12 worldwide in strength of field.
Scheffler opened with wins at the Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play before acquiring his first career major championship victory at the Masters. In winning four tournaments across six starts, Scheffler became the top-ranked golfer in the world and ended the season with more money earned on the PGA Tour across a single season than any golfer in history ($14.05 million). Among other earnings, he also picked up $5.75 million in FedEx Cup bonus funds and $4 million from the Comcast Business Tour Top 10 to capture a grand total of $24.8 million this season.
Receiving 89% of the votes over McIlroy and Smith, his award was announced Saturday on ESPN's "College GameDay." Scheffler, a former golfer at Texas, was honored ahead of the Longhorns' Week 2 college football game against No. 1 Alabama.
McIlroy, a three-time winner of this award, was also a three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season with his victories coming at the CJ Cup last fall and then over the summer at the RBC Canadian Open in June and in dramatic fashion to conclude the season at the Tour Championship where he topped Scheffler to pocket $18 million. That final win at a huge-money event felt like a culmination of McIlroy's incredible season, one in which he posted top-eight finishes at all four majors including the Masters (2nd), PGA Championship (8th), U.S. Open (T5) and Open Championship (3rd). He ended the year with $28 million more in his bank account between tournament earnings, FedEx Cup bonuses and the Comcast Business Top 10 payout.
"Scottie Scheffler is going to win the Player of the Year," said McIlroy after beating him at the Tour Championship. "There's no doubt about that. You know, it would have been fitting for him to end his breakout season with a FedEx Cup title. I think he ... deserves this maybe more than I deserve it. He played an unbelievable season. He didn't have his best stuff today, and I played well and took advantage of that.
"Scottie will have plenty more chances to win FedEx Cups. Hell of a player, hell of a competitor. Even better person. Love his family. Look, it's hard. You don't really know what to say on the 18th green because he's had such a great year, but he'll be back, and he's a great player, and I told him this certainly isn't the last time that we're going to have these battles on the golf course."
It was Smith who ultimately won that Open by overcoming a four-shot deficit after 54 holes by posting a scintillating 64 across the final 18 at St. Andrews, jumping McIlroy in the process. Smith also won the Players Championship and a Tournament of Champions event, posting a T3 finish at the Masters along the way. However, we won't see him on the PGA Tour next season as he parlayed his Open victory into a big-money contract with LIV Golf.
|Scottie Scheffler||Rory McIlroy||Cameron Smith|
Major top 10s
Each of the prior three PGA Tour Player of the Year winners doubled as the FedEx Cup and Tour Championship winner, a streak that has now come to an end. Scheffler, however, reached a new milestone as the first golfer to win Player of the Year on the Korn Ferry Tour (2019), PGA Tour Rookie of the Year (2020) and PGA Tour Player of the Year since the awards were first established in 1990.
"On behalf of the PGA Tour, congratulations to Scottie on his remarkable season and his unprecedented achievements," said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. "Undoubtably, one of the highest compliments a player can receive is the endorsement from his peers, and the fact that Scottie's season was both dominant and consistent spoke volumes to the membership. And as gratifying as it has been to see his development on the course over the last several years, we are equally thankful that Scottie has embraced the role as an ambassador of the PGA Tour and the game of golf. With young stars like Scottie leading the way, the PGA Tour is in great hands for many years to come."