News & Tours
September 08, 2020

Dustin Johnson won't sweep player-of-the-year honors as Justin Thomas takes PGA of America's award

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Keyur Khamar

For the second time in his career, Justin Thomas has earned PGA of America's Player of the Year award.

After closing out the FedEx Cup title on Monday at East Lake Golf Club, the question arose as to whether Dustin Johnson’s recent run in the PGA Tour Playoffs (win-second-win in the three events) was enough to push him over the finish line in the Player of the Year race.

The early answer? Not necessarily.

On Tuesday, the PGA of America announced Justin Thomas had earned its POY award, which is determined via a points-based system. Thomas garnered 66 points, outpacing runner-up Jon Rahm by 10. Finishing third was Collin Morikawa (54) and fourth was Webb Simpson (52).

And what about DJ? Well, he came in fifth at 42 points.

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The formula that the PGA of America uses gives players points for PGA Tour wins (10 for each, 30 for a major), where they finished on the money list and where they ranked in the overall scoring (first place gets you 20, second gets 18, third 16, etc.).

Here’s how the scoring breakdown works.

Interestingly, the PGA of America did not credit Johnson for his Tour Championship title (instead giving the 10 points to Xander Schauffele, who shot the lowest score for four rounds at East Lake but finished tied for second when accounting for the pre-tournament stroke adjustment). Even if you added another 10 points to DJ’s overall total, he still wouldn’t have passed Thomas for the title.

Whether Thomas’ PGA of America honor might influence the outcome of the PGA Tour’s POY award, determined by a vote of tour members, is unclear. For 27 straight years, the same player won both awards, until 2019, when Brooks Koepka took the PGA of America prize but Rory McIlroy got the nod from his PGA Tour peers. Koepka had won two majors last year, but McIlroy beat him in the FedEx Cup race.