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Scheffler, Ko, Alker win GWAA Player of the Year honors

January 10, 2023
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Jamie Squire

Scottie Scheffler, Lydia Ko and Steven Alker were named 2022 Players of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America.

Scheffler captured Male POY honors thanks to a four-win campaign last season. The 26-year-old earned his first PGA Tour victory in February at the WM Phoenix Open and followed with victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Those triumphs proved to be a preview of what was to come at Augusta National, as the Texan built a five-shot lead at the midpoint en route to his first green jacket. Scheffler also had four runner-ups on the year, including at the U.S. Open, and racked up a whopping 11 top-10 finishes on the season to grab the top spot in the World Rankings.

Scheffler earned 49.2 percent first-place votes from the GWAA, beating Rory McIlroy and Cameron Smith.

“It was a great year. I'm very pleased with how the year went,” Scheffler said. “To win an award like that, to be recognized as the best player for the year, is really special, and something I'll look back on in my career.”

Ko ran away with the Female POY title, garnering 79.5 percent of the first-place votes to beat finalists Minjee Lee and Atthaya Thitikul. Ko won three times—the Gainbridge at Boca Rio, BMW Ladies Championship and the season-finale CME Group Tour Championship—and posted the lowest scoring average on the LPGA. This is her second GWAA award, receiving her first in 2015.

"What an honor to be awarded the GWAA’s Player of the Year," Ko said. "It means so much to me to win it for a second time. What an amazing year 2022 turned out to be. So many cool things happened in my life, culminating in my wedding. While nothing could be more special than that, my golf was pretty good, too! I am truly thankful to everyone with the GWAA for recognizing me with this prestigious award."

In his first full season on the Champions circuit, Alker won four times—including the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship—to earn the season-long Charles Schwab Cup. Alker earned 50.3 percent of first-place votes to beat out Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker. “Obviously, I had time to sit down just before Christmas and kind of think about really what I'd done. I'm pleased and proud of myself for the consistency that I had throughout the year,” Alker said.

The Golf Writers Association of America is a non-profit members organization, and the only American organization dedicated to the promotion and continued improvement of golf journalism.