PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods was voted PGA Tour player of the year for the 11th time on the strength of his five big wins and return to No. 1 in the world.
It was the third time Woods won the Jack Nicklaus Award despite not winning a major. He made up for that with two World Golf Championships and The Players Championship among his five wins. No one else won more than twice this year, and Woods won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average and the PGA Tour money title.
‘‘It’s been an incredible year to have won five times, two of those World Golf Championships and one Players,’’ Woods said on a conference call Friday. ‘‘It’s been just a fantastic year all around. It’s also an incredible feeling to be voted by your peers, and to have that type of respect is something that’s very humbling.’’
The PGA Tour does not release the percentage of votes won or even who finished second. Jordan Spieth was voted rookie of the year in a race that likely was no contest. The 20-year-old Texan began the year with no status on any tour. He won the John Deere Classic, lost in a playoff at another event, reached the Tour Championship, was chosen for the Presidents Cup team, and wound up 10th on the money list with nearly $4 million.
He will be the youngest American — and first PGA Tour rookie — to play in the Presidents Cup next week in Ohio.
Woods was on the ballot with British Open champion Phil Mickelson, Masters champion Adam Scott, FedEx Cup champion Henrik Stenson, and Matt Kuchar. It was the first time since 2009, right before his personal life unraveled, that Woods won the award. Even though he has more of them than anyone in history, he said that it doesn’t get old
The Jack Nicklaus Award began in 1990. In 24 years, Woods has won it 11 times and only two other players have won it twice — Fred Couples (1991, 1992) and Nick Price (1993, 1994). It was the fourth time in the last five years that the winner did not capture a major
Woods said his biggest win this year was at The Players Championship, mainly because it’s the one golf course he plays regularly that has given him fits.His other wins this year came on courses where he won for at least the fourth time