News & ToursAugust 21, 2018

Tiger Woods says the PGA Tour's Player of the Year race is over

Tiger Woods speaks to the media prior to THE NORTHERN TRUST at Ridgewood Country Club on August 21, 2018 in Paramus, New Jersey.
Stan BadzTiger Woods speaks to the media prior to THE NORTHERN TRUST at Ridgewood Country Club on August 21, 2018 in Paramus, New Jersey.

PARAMUS, N.J. — A $10 million bonus will be up for grabs when the four-tournament FedEx Cup Playoffs kick off on Thursday. But according to Tiger Woods, another coveted PGA Tour prize has already been locked up.

On Tuesday morning, Woods answered 26 questions from the assembled media at Ridgefield Country Club. His shortest response came when he was asked if he thought Brooks Koepka, who held off Tiger at the PGA Championship earlier this month, would win the 2017-'18 PGA Tour Player of the Year Award.

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"You win two majors, you've got it. It's not real complicated," said Woods, who has won the award a record 11 times, before expanding a bit. "It was very similar to what DD went through in '98, with Marko winning two major championships, I think that trumps—what, DD won four times that year. I think two majors trumps it."

Woods, long known for his love nicknames, was referring to David Duval ("DD") and Mark O'Meara ("Marko") with his 1998 example. O'Meara won that year's Masters and U.S. Open and claimed Player of the Year.

Perhaps a better example, though, came 10 years later. Woods won four of his six starts to begin 2008, including that epic playoff win at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. But he had knee surgery the following week and missed the rest of the season. Padraig Harrington wound up winning the year's final two majors and was named Player of the Year by a vote of his peers.

The only two players to win two majors in the same year since (Rory McIlroy in 2014 and Jordan Spieth in 2015) each took POY honors. Koepka defended his U.S. Open title in June before winning a third career major at the PGA in August. And regardless of how he finishes this season, it sure sounds like he already has the vote of a certain 14-time major champ.

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