Woods named GWAA’s top male player
Thursday, December 17, 2009
HOUSTON – Tiger Woods was voted male player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America on Thursday by an overwhelming margin over Steve Stricker, with most ballots returned after he became embroiled in a sex scandal.
It was the 10th time Woods has won the award in his 13 years as a pro.
LPGA Tour rookie Jiyai Shin was voted female player of the year over Lorena Ochoa, while Loren Roberts won the senior player award.
Woods, forced out for eight months with major knee surgery, returned to win six times on the PGA Tour. He captured the FedEx Cup, along with the PGA Tour money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average.
He received 168 votes (84 percent), while Stricker had 20 votes and PGA champion Y.E. Yang received 13 votes.
Voting for the GWAA awards began three days before news of Woods’ traffic accident outside his Florida home, the first sign of trouble that led the world’s No. 1 player to eventually admit to infidelity.
Just under half the ballots were cast before the Nov. 27 accident. Balloting closed at midnight on Dec. 11, the day Woods announced he was taking an indefinite leave from golf to work on saving his marriage. During the two-week period, the voting trend did not change.
Shin won three times and was the LPGA rookie of the year. She had a chance to win the LPGA player of the year until Ochoa beat her by one point in a race that went down to the final round at the LPGA Tour Championship. Shin won the money title and was second in scoring.
She received 105 votes (52 percent) to 85 votes for Ochoa and 11 votes for Cristie Kerr.
Roberts’ three victories included the Senior British Open at Sunningdale, and he won the Charles Schwab Cup for the second time in three years. He finished second on the money list behind Bernhard Langer, who won four times. Roberts received 111 votes (55 percent), with Langer getting 78 votes and Fred Funk getting 10 votes.
The players will be honored April 7 in Augusta, Ga., at the GWAA’s annual awards dinner.