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Scheffler named Player of the Year

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler, who won four titles this year including his first major crown at the Masters, was named Saturday as the 2021-2022 PGA Tour Player of the Year.

The 26-year-old American won with 89 percent of the vote from tour players for the award after capturing a season-high four titles within a two-month span capped by his green jacket triumph at Augusta National.

“Congratulations to Scottie on his remarkable season and his unprecedented achievements,” US PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

“Undoubtedly, one of the highest compliments a player can receive is the endorsement from his peers and the fact that Scottie’s season was both dominant and consistent spoke volumes to the membership.”

Australia’s Cameron Smith, the world number two who bolted from the PGA to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series earlier this month, and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who edged Scheffler for the FedEx Cup playoff crown, were the other finalists for the award.

Scheffler won his first PGA title in February at the Phoenix Open, defeating Patrick Cantlay with a birdie on the third playoff hole.

Three weeks later at Bay Hill, Scheffler captured the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and three weeks after that, Scheffler won the WGC Match Play crown, defeating countryman Kevin Kisner in the championship match to claim the world number one ranking he has held ever since.

In his first event atop the rankings, Scheffler won the Masters, defeating McIlroy by three strokes for his fourth triumph in six starts, a PGA feat unseen since Australian Jason Day managed it in the 2014-2015 campaign.

Scheffler joined Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Fred Couples and Ian Woosnam as the only players to win the Masters while world number one.

He also joined Woods as the only players to win a major and WGC title among four triumphs in a PGA season.

Scheffler, the 2020 PGA Rookie of the Year, has stayed with the PGA in a season of turmoil where many of the sport’s big names left for the upstart LIV Golf Series, which offered guaranteed huge contracts and record $25 million event purses.

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