Scheffler Named PGA Player of the Year, Cole Earns Top Rookie Honors

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Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler of the United States was named the 2022-23 PGA Tour Player of the Year (TOM PENNINGTON)

World number one Scottie Scheffler was named the 2022-23 US PGA Tour Player of the Year on Wednesday while fellow American Eric Cole captured the PGA Rookie of the Year award.

Scheffler, the 2022 Masters champion, became the first golfer to take Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons since 15-time major winner Tiger Woods won three in a row from 2005-2007.

“It’s good,” Scheffler said. “Anything you receive voted on by your peers is very special to me and being able to go home with this trophy two years in a row now is very special.”

World number 41 Cole, the 35-year-old son of pro golfers Bobby Cole and Laura Baugh, was twice a PGA runner-up last season, at the Honda Classic and Zozo Championship in Japan. His mother was the 1973 LPGA Rookie of the Year.

“It’s a huge honor,” Cole said. “It’s an award in golf where you only get one chance to win it, which is a little bit unique. To win that and be voted by my peers is pretty incredible.”

PGA Tour members who played in at least 15 events last season were eligible to vote for the awards from December 1-15, 2023.

Scheffler received 38% of votes for Player of the Year to defeat the four other nominees — 2023 US Open winner Wyndham Clark, 2023 Tour Championship winner Viktor Hovland of Norway, four-time major winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Spain’s third-ranked Jon Rahm, the reigning Masters champion who announced December 7 he was jumping to the rival LIV Golf League.

Cole, who led the PGA with 554 birdies last season, had 51% of votes for the rookie award to defeat Colombia’s Nico Echavarria and Sweden’s Vincent Norrman and Ludvig Aberg.

Scheffler, 27, defended his Phoenix Open title last year and captured the Players Championship by five strokes for his first titles since taking the green jacket in 2022 at Augusta National. He also captured last month’s Hero World Challenge invitational in the Bahamas.

He had 18 consecutive top-12 finishes in the 2022-23 campaign, a streak topped only by Woods in 2000-01, and in 23 starts had 13 top-five showings, the best run since Woods and Vijay Singh had 13 in 2005.

“I think the body of work I put in last year, with the consistency and finishing top most of the weeks that I played, I was very proud of that consistency, and so yeah, I’m very appreciative of the award,” Scheffler said.

Scheffler broke his own PGA Tour prize money record with $21,014,342, nearly $7 million above his prior mark from the previous campaign.

Only three other players have won the PGA Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons — Fred Couples (1991-92), Zimbabwe’s Nick Price (1993-94) and Woods (1999-2003 and 2005-07).

Scheffler also took the Byron Nelson Award for lowest tour scoring average at 68.63 strokes, the lowest since Woods at 68.05 in 2009.

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