PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The nominees for 2012 PGA TOUR Player of the Year were released on Monday -- Jason Dufner, Rory McIlroy, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods.
Players were nominated by the PGA TOUR Player Directors and members of the Player Advisory Council (PAC). The awards are determined by a member vote, with PGA TOUR members who played in at least 15 official money events in 2012 eligible to vote. The balloting process ends on Nov. 30, with the winner to be announced in early December.
A quick look at each nominee:
JASON DUFNER: Won two events (Zurich Classic of New Orleans, HP Byron Nelson Championship), posted eight top-10s, finished 14th in FedExCup and fourth on adjusted scoring average
RORY McILROY: Won four events (The Honda Classic, PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship), posted 10 top-10s, runner-up in FedExCup, won the Byron Nelson Award and Vardon Trophy for adjusted scoring average and Arnold Palmer Award as TOUR’s leading money winner
BRANDT SNEDEKER: Won two events (Farmers Insurance Open, TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola), posted seven top-10 finishes, won the FedExCup, finished third on official money list
BUBBA WATSON: Won one event (Masters), posted seven top-10 finishes, finished 13th in FedExCup and fifth on official money list
TIGER WOODS: Won three events (Arnold Palmer Invitational by MasterCard, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and the AT&T National), posted nine top-10 finishes, finished third in FedExCup and second in adjusted scoring average and second in official money list
Now it’s your turn: Who do you think will win this year’s Player of the Year?
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By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
Jason Dufner, playing for the first time since going 3-1 in the Ryder Cup, and former Masters champ Charl Schwartzel got in some sightseeing earlier this week prior to playing in the ISPS Handa Perth International.
The two PGA TOUR veterans were part of a photo op in Kings Park, which spans just under 1,000 acres and overlooks the central business district of Perth. Neither Dufner nor Schwartzel, a licensed pilot who also viewed the countryside by helicopter, had ever been to the capital city of Western Australia.
Dufner said he's excited to play again after the disappointing U.S. loss at the Ryder Cup.
“Personally, if you have a bad event, or if you fall on your face on the last nine holes, you know that you have another event around the corner to kind of redeem yourself," Dufner told europeantour.com. "But in that event, you have to wait two more years to have a chance to get back and win the thing.
“So there's a lot of different dynamics with The Ryder Cup and failing how we did as a team and losing the event. So it's been a tough couple weeks but I'm looking forward to playing golf again and getting over it and moving past it a little bit.”
Schwartzel comes to Australia after reaching the semifinals of the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final. The South African beat Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods before losing to Westwood.
“With weeks like last week you can maybe sometimes spark something, and all of a sudden feel like you actually are building some confidence," Schwartzel said. "Something going your way can change things around very quickly.”
The ISPS Handa Perth International will be played at Lake Karrinyup Country Club and is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia.
U.S. (Jason Dufner & Zach Johnson) def.
Europe (Francesco Molinari & Lee
Westwood), 3 and 2
Click for more: Hole by hole
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MEDINAH, Ill. – The U.S. team of Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner defeated Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari 3 and 2 Friday morning’s foursomes match in the Ryder Cup.
MATCH FLOW: This match was a tale of two nines. Europe held the edge on the front and the understated Americans seized control on the back. Europe won the first hole when Zach Johnson was unable to convert a 5-footer for save par. The front nine was a see-saw battle after that with Europe going 1 up two more times and the Americans squaring the match three times. Jason Dufner made back-to-back birdie putts at Nos. 9 and 10 and the Americans never trailed again. The Americans decided to lay up at the drivable 15th and Lee Westwood found the water for another U.S. win. The Americans closed out the match at the 16th hole as Dufner makes a 30-inch putt for par after Westwood misses from 7 feet.
BY THE NUMBERS: The U.S. team won six holes and shot a combined 3 under. The European team won three holes and shot a combined 1 over.
TIPPING POINT: Dufner's 15-footer for birdie at the ninth hole. It appears to stop to the left of the hole but drops in as Dufner walks to tap it in. The iceman cracks a slight smile and the U.S. never trails again.
NOTES & QUOTES: “I think today was a day that when it comes to foursomes, we did exactly what you should do, and that was never really take yourself out of the hole, put yourself in a position to make putts and stay and just keep fighting and staying in the moment.” Zach Johnson …
“Zach put me in a good spot on the ninth hole. The European Team had putted one maybe about 10 feet by. We had a good read on the putt. I felt like I hit a really nice putt and it just looked like it was going to hang on the edge. And to be honest with you, I almost felt like the roar of the crowd and the anticipation of the putt missing actually willed that ball into the hole because it felt like the crowd's cheer came from the right and the ball kind of fell into the hole. So that was a pretty good moment there.” Jason Dufner …
Zach Johnson is now 2-1-1 in Foursomes and 3-2-1 in team play. …
With his loss this morning, Westwood drops to 7-2-4 in Ryder Cup Foursomes play.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
For those in the top 5 of the FedExCup standings heading into this week’s TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, the formula is simple: Win, and you win the FedExCup, too. Everyone else, meanwhile, needs help.
With that in mind, here’s a look at five players who I think could come from outside the top 5 and win the FedExCup:
Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6): There are a couple of reasons to like Oosthuizen’s chances. First, he doesn’t need a lot of help to win the FedExCup by virtue of being No. 6 in the standings. With an extra week off he should also be fully recovered from a minor pectoral injury he played through at the BMW Championship. Oosthuizen plays big in big spots (see his 2010 British Open victory, this year’s Masters, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational) and has been in a groove in the Playoffs with a couple of top-5 finishes, including a runner-up in Boston.
Dustin Johnson (No. 7): Three Playoffs tournaments, three finishes in the top 6. You could argue that no one outside of Rory McIlroy has been as consistent as Johnson in the postseason. If there’s a concern, it’s that Johnson has never fared particularly well at East Lake, failing to finish in the top 20 in three trips. I think this year will be different, though. Johnson’s length is of course a huge asset, but his iron play has been very good in his last three starts with Johnson ranking in the top 10 in greens hit.
Jason Dufner (No. 10): The Duf has cooled a bit since a midseason run that included two wins and two other top-5 finishes in five starts, but a return to Atlanta should spark the 35-year-old. Dufner has a history of playing well in the South -- one of his two victories this year came in New Orleans, and he lost a playoff at the 2011 PGA Championship at nearby Atlanta Athletic Club. He doesn’t have a great track record at East Lake, having tied for 13th last year and 19th in 2009 in his only two appearances, but he loves Bermudagrass, is one of the best drivers of the ball on TOUR and is one of its best ball-strikers. He’s also having the best putting year of his career.
Bubba Watson (No. 11): Another player who doesn’t have a great record in this event, Watson makes up for that by the fact that he’s having a career year. He won another pretty significant tournament in the state of Georgia in April and has five other top 10s, including a pair of runner-up finishes, to go with his Green Jacket. Watson has been good -- not great -- in the Playoffs so far with three finishes in the top 12. As far as Watson hits it -- he leads the TOUR in driving distance -- he’s also third in greens in regulation. If he can straighten out his putter, Watson should be a factor at East Lake.
Carl Pettersson (No. 17): The length at East Lake, which he is playing for the first time, shouldn’t affect Pettersson, who ranks in the top 40 on TOUR in driving distance. Like Dufner, he, too, is a guy who tends to play well this side of the Mason-Dixon Line (see: his win at Hilton Head and tie for third at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island). It’s also been a big year for those who wield a long putter. It’s certainly a longshot at 17th in the standings but as we saw with Bill Haas, who was 25th going into East Lake, it’s certainly a possibility.
The top 30 in FedExCup points are headed to East Lake for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Here’s a look at Jason Dufner, one of the 30 players who will contend for the FedExCup title.
SCENARIOS TO WIN FEDEXCUP: For Dufner to win the
FedExCup, he MUST win the TOUR Championship and have the following
scenarios fall into place:
> Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 5th or worse
> Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
> Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
> Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes in T-2 or worse
> Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes 2nd* or worse
> *Tie for the FedExCup
Click here for scenarios of every player
SEASON IN REVIEW: Forget the heartache at last year's PGA Championship. Dufner rebounded with a career year that included wins at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the HP Byron Nelson Championship in a four-week span. Oh, and he got married during that stretch, as well. Seven days after winning in Dallas, he finished second in Fort Worth. Dufner, who has eight top-10 finishes this year, also played his way onto his first U.S. Ryder Cup team. -- Helen Ross
PATH TO TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP: Here’s a look at
Dufner's results in the first three events of the 2012 FedExCup
Click here for Playoffs Tracker of every player.
|FEC ranking after event||
PREVIOUS FEDEXCUP FINISHES: Here is how Dufner has finished in previous Playoffs appearances:
EAST LAKE HISTORY: This is Dufner's third start in the TOUR Championship, having tied for 13th last season at East Lake. Dufner also tied for 19th in 2009.
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Fred Albers, on-course
correspondent for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, provides a quick look at
Is $10,000,000 enough to get him excited? Jason has to have the lowest blood pressure on TOUR. I have never seen him get rattled while in contention. I think his "waggles" take all the tension out of his swing. Will skipping The Barclays cost him?
PLAYER PAGE: Click here for more on Jason Dufner
Now it’s your turn. How do you think Dufner will fare at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola?
In the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, Jason Dufner makes a 39-foot putt from just off the green on the par-4 4th hole for an eagle.
In the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, Jason Dufner hits his 104-yard approach shot on the par-4 1st hole to 6 feet then sinks his putt for birdie.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. – Jason Dufner needed to stretch his right hamstring at various times during Saturday’s second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, especially late in his round as he felt it becoming too restrictive on his downswing.
“It creeps in there after about 12 or 13 holes,” he said.
Dufner said he would get treatment for the tight hamstring but doesn’t expect it will be a factor in the final two rounds. Hopefully that’s the case, since Dufner is in good shape to chase down his third win of the PGA TOUR season.
On Saturday,he shot a 5-under 66 to move to 9 under for the tournament, just three strokes off the pace set by Rory McIlroy. Dufner, who opted not to play last week at The Barclays, is making his first start in this year’s FedExCup Playoffs.
Through 36 holes at TPC Boston, he’s pleased with his game – and with good reason. He’s hit 82 percent of his fairways and 79 percent of greens in regulation.
“Everything has been pretty good this week, other than the fact that I played the par 5s even so far,” said Dufner, who tied for second here in 2009.
Dufner entered this week ranked No. 1 on TOUR in both first round and second round scoring average. But his rankings in the final two rounds aren’t quite as impressive – 47th in the third round and 99th in the final round.
So it’s not surprise he’s played well the first two days here. Now comes the difficult part.
“Unfortunately I’ve had some poor weekends, but I’ve had some good weekends too,” said Dufner, No. 6 in FedExCup points. “You know, it’s just kind of one of those things. Thursday and Friday (Friday and Saturday this week) have been pretty good for me, so hopefully that will roll over to the weekend.”
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. – Jason Dufner ranks fourth on the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation, a significant increase from his ranking in that category in previous years.
“Nothing particularly that I focused on with iron play to get any better,” Dufner said. “Just all around trying to be a better player with all aspects of my game.”
Dufner has hit 69.21 percent of his greens this year. Last year, he hit 66.95 percent in ranking 52nd on TOUR. His highest ranking in that category came in 2009 when he was 49th at 66.93 percent.
“I think the numbers are pretty close to the same,” Dufner said. “Maybe the ranking is not the same, but it might be a percentage or two percentages here or there.”
JASON DUFNER: CAREER GREENS IN REGULATION RANKING
|Year||Greens in regulation percentage||GIR rank on TOUR|
|2012||69.21 percent (872 of 1,260 holes)*||4th|
|2011||66.95 percent (940 of 1,404 holes)||52nd|
|2010||66.67 percent (1,044 of 1,566 holes)||104th|
|2009||66.93 percent (1,036 of 1,548 holes)||49th|
|2008||65.99 percent (487 of 738 holes)||67th|
|2007||65.06 percent (1,171 of 1,800 holes)||80th|
* – entering Deutsche Bank Championship