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GWAA Names Players Of The Year

December 14, 2008

The only close race for POY honors was on the Champions Tour where Haas edged out Bernhard Langer by 36 votes.

HOUSTON, Tex (GWAA) -- Padraig Harrington, Lorena Ochoa and Jay Haas have been named 2008 Players of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America.

All three players will be honored at the GWAA's Annual Awards Dinner April 8, 2009 in Augusta, Ga.

It is Harrington's first GWAA POY award and ends a streak of three in row for Tiger Woods. Woods, who has been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery following his U.S. Open win in June, had won the POY award nine of the last 11 years. It is the third consecutive award for both Ochoa and Haas.

Harrington received 184 votes to 58 for Woods and five for Vijay Singh. Ochoa received 232 votes to Paula Creamer's 13. Yani Tseng received three votes. Haas' margin in the Senior POY was the narrowest. He received 115 votes to 79 for Bernhard Langer. Eduardo Romero was third with 50 votes.

Harrington successfully defended his British Open title then followed up his win at Royal Birkdale with a victory at the PGA Championship. The 37-year-old Irishman became the first European to win successive majors in the same season and the fifth player in the last two decades to win two majors in a year. He finished eighth on the PGA TOUR money list.

Ochoa followed up two impressive seasons with seven wins and her second consecutive major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She led the LPGA in scoring for the third consecutive year and led the money list with $2.763 million. Creamer was second with $1.823 million.

Haas is the first player to win the award three consecutive times. Hale Irwin won three POYs, but only two in a row (1997-98). Haas won two tournaments, including the Senior PGA Championship, and won the Charles Schwab Cup. He finished second on the money list to Langer. Haas was honored with both the ASAPSPORTS/Jim Murray Award and the Bob Jones Award in 2005.

The GWAA, founded in 1946, takes an active role in protecting the interests of all golf journalists, works closely with all of golf's major governing bodies and the World Golf Hall of Fame and facilitates a scholarship/internship program which is currently helping students at 17 major U.S. universities.