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Woods wins 11th Player of the Year Award



Tiger Woods didn’t win a major in 2013, but his five wins including golf’s “fifth major,” The Players Championship, were enough for him to be voted the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year.

Woods played in 16 PGA Tour events in 2013, winning five tournaments: The Farmers Insurance Open, the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Players Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. While his five wins were three more than any other player, the quality of Woods’ wins has been widely debated in recent weeks. He has won the Farmers Insurance Open seven times in his career, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational each eight times. Those three events accounts for nearly 30 percent of his 79 career PGA Tour wins.

Player of the Year nominee Phil Mickelson, on the other hand, broke through for his fifth-career major victory at a tournament that few experts expected him to ever win, the British Open. He did so after a heart-breaking sixth runner-up finish at the U.S. Open in June, where he finished two shots behind Justin Rose. Mickelson also won the week before the British Open at the Scottish Open, and while it doesn’t count as an official PGA Tour win, it marked his first win on European soil. And at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Mickelson recorded the second-lowest round of the year, a 60 in Round 1, in route to victory.

Also in the running for Player of the Year was Henrik Stenson, who like Mickelson had two PGA Tour wins in 2013. Both of Stenson’s wins came in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs. He won the Deutsche Bank Championship and Tour Championship to win the season-long FedEx Cup title and its $10 million bonus. But the Swede’s hot streak began well before the FedEx Cup. Since March, Stenson has had six other top-10 finishes: the Arnold Palmer Invitational (T8), the Shell Houston Open (2), The Players (T5), the British Open (2), the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (T2) and the PGA Championship (3).

It appears that it’s “all about the W,” as Woods like to say, when it comes to the Player of the Year award. With the exception of 2008, when Padraig Harrington won two major championships, the PGA Tour players who vote on the Player of the Year Award have selected the golfer with the most wins or tied for the most wins as Player of the Year every year since 1999.

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    Oct 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    No question that Woods deserves the award even though I’m sure it seems like a dismal year to him.

  2. Roddy

    Sep 28, 2013 at 5:48 am

    If it was anyone else but Tiger there would be no debate about it. 5 wins deserves to get player of the year. Just cause he didnt win a major doesnt mean it was a bad year. By his standards maybe it’s not what he wants, but for the rest of the golfing world that is a very good year.

    • Steve

      Sep 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      This is exactly it. His standards are higher than everyone else’s. Anyone else with 5 wins would be ecstatic and easily be player of the year over people with 2 wins (unless BOTH were majors, then we might have an argument), but Tiger would trade those 5 for 1 major.

  3. naflack

    Sep 28, 2013 at 3:12 am

    pretty impressive that he didnt win a major, which by his own previous standards is somewhat disappointing…and still is voted player of the year by his peers.

    • Tom

      Sep 28, 2013 at 10:38 am

      The PGA face is Tiger Woods. Tigers counterparts know this. They also know that when Tiger plays a tournament the course attendance and viewers goes up, that equates to $$$$. It’s this way in all sports from soccer to tennis and football. Sad that it comes to this and not just the love of a team or the sport itself.

  4. Jack

    Sep 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Quality of wins debated? That’s only if he starts playing against fields which don’t field the top talent on tour. If he plays against a full field of the best players, what’s to question? I though debate whether he should have won, but Stenson didn’t really play well for the entire season, only the latter half.

    • Matt

      Sep 28, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Jack I believe the quality of winds debate is in regards to the fact that Tiger doesn’t seem to be able to bring his game anymore accept on those few select courses he’s very comfortable on and plays every year. The one exception being the players where he traditionally doesn’t play that well minus the one other win. Nevertheless 5 wins is 5 wins and pretty hard not to give him the player of the year award.

  5. Brock

    Sep 27, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Stenson won the Deutsche Bank Championship, not the BMW (Zach Johnson).

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U.S. Open Tour Truck Report: #7woodSZN, mini drivers, fresh grooves, and tinkering



A nearly 7,700-yard, par-71 track featuring penal rough off the fairway and green, Torrey Pines’ South Course presents a difficult, demanding examination for players at this week’s U.S. Open. From every television, computer, and mobile device screen this truth is being conveyed to the point that, as is often the case in the leadup to U.S. Opens, a certain fatigue sets in.

However, it’s worth pointing to the obvious in order to highlight the fact that some players are making changes to their setups to accommodate the long approaches into par-4s and the need to maximize descent angle into — what are expected to be — thoroughly baked out greens.

Additionally, we’re hearing a ton of players are putting 7-woods in play primarily for the purpose of advancing the ball from the rough — not exactly “a get out of jail free” card, but hopefully a key to slip out of one’s cell.

Let’s get into the specifics.


Jordan Spieth is testing a 21-degree TSi2 fairway wood, which is a game-time decision to add to the lineup in place of his 818 H2 hybrid.

Both Lanto Griffin and Matt Jones are adding TSi2 (21-degree) fairway woods in place of their utility irons.

Adam Scott is going with four woods this week. He’s adding a 13.5-degree TSi2 fairway wood. The Australian is also putting a Vokey 60A wedge in play (switching from a 60-06K). With four degrees of bounce, the wedge works well on tight lies.

Titleist Tour Rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck: “The rough is really, really difficult this week. And the greens are starting to firm up. So we have a lot of players evaluating TSi fairway wood options. The TSi 21-degree 7-wood has been very popular. Players are really liking what it does out of the rough and then into the greens – really high launch angle and landing very softly has been really effective.”

Max Homa put a new Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5, which is a similar profile to the 11.5 model he played earlier in the year. Homa likes the feel, forgiveness, and ease of alignment in the smaller profile.


Not surprisingly, the majority of players asking for fresh grooves this week.

Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill on wedges this week: “This golf course is a beast. As you would imagine, rough is long and thick, but it’s a really cool different style of golf course where you’ve got a couple different types of grasses and just the way they put it together, it makes it extremely challenging. Because of this rough, because of the fairways, because of the greens, you would think that you’d want a little bit more bounce because of just how juicy and thick and healthy this rough is. But the reality is the more bounce you get, the slower it moves through that tall grass.”

“And so we see a lot of guys gravitate to something with less bounce: T grinds, A Grinds, L Grinds, Low-bounce K’s. Adam Scott switched to a 60A this week. He dabbled a little bit with it at Augusta National this year, but this is that week where it really fits the conditions. He wants that speed. He wants that comfort. He wants to be aggressive, so it’s great fit for him. Guys like Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth are bringing in fresh 60’s this week. So these guys are prepared. They’re ready to go. But again, very difficult golf course. You’ve got to have fresh grooves and you’ve got to have a little bit less bounced to maneuver through this tall grass.”

(Photo via Titleist)


Phil Mickelson was spotted with a TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver (Fujikura Ventus Black shaft) in practice rounds. He’s also reportedly testing a 5-wood with a Fujikura Ventus Red 9 X shaft.

Akshay Bhatia is testing a Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X shaft in an Epic Max LS driver.

Patrick Rodgers is testing a Callaway Epic Speed 7-wood (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 TX).

Henrik Stenson has new Jaws MD5 Slate wedges in the bag (52-10S, 58-08C).

(Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder)


Dustin Johnson looks to be returning to a TaylorMade TP Bandon putter (now outfitted with an LA Golf shaft) after rolling it with his Spider IB Limited at the Palmetto Championship. He’s sticking with the prototype LA Golf shaft in his driver, which makes sense, considering he now owns part of the company.

Sergio Garcia has a new TaylorMade Spider X Chalf in the bag.

Quick rundown of Matthew Wolff’s setup: SIM (9 degrees), P770 3, P750 4-PW, Spider X, TP5 Pix

Collin Morikawa put a MG2 Hi Toe (60-10) in play.

Robert MacIntyre changed up his flatstick and is going with a TP Bandon 3.


Reportedly “half of the tour staff” are putting 7-woods in play, according to our source at Ping. Bubba Watson and Mackenzie Hughes included.

Watson’s 7-wood specs: Ping G425 Max (23.5 degrees). 40.5-inch Fujikura Black 9 X shaft in custom pink (tipped 2 inches, D2+).

Cole Hammer is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD HD 7 TX shaft in his driver.

Others, free agents

Hideki Matsuyama is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD UB 9 X shaft in a SIM2 Max 3-wood.

Rikuya Hoshino is testing Graphite Design Tour AD UB 9 X in a Srixon ZX5 driver.

Shane Lowry has a new Cleveland RTX Full-Face 58-degree wedge in play.

Zack Sucher is putting a 16-degree Srixon ZX hybrid in play.

The king of stout shafts, Jhonny Vegas is testing a Fujikura Ventus Black 100 X shaft in his 5-wood.

Richard Bland has a spread of TM wedges: MG (46 degrees), MG Hi Toe (54, 60 degrees).

Cameron Champ put TaylorMade wedges in play: (MG Hi Toe 56, 60 degrees).

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2021 Palmetto Championship at Congaree



GolfWRX is live from Congaree Golf Club for the Palmetto Championship. This one-time replacement for the RBC Canadian Open is the third PGA Tour event contested in South Carolina this season.

Palmetto State native Dustin Johnson headlines the field (and has been doing plenty of putter testing). Brooks Koepka and Jason Dufner will be teeing it up as well. John Pak and Davis Thompson will both be making their professional debuts.

General galleries



Special galleries

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Tour News

John Pak, college golf’s top player, signs with TaylorMade



Editor’s note: We filed this piece for’s Equipment Report.

With a buddy on the bag and fresh off receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, celebrated amateur and Florida State standout John Pak is making his professional debut at this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree — and he’ll do so as a TaylorMade staffer, the company announced today.

College golf’s top player, Pak has played TaylorMade gear and a Titleist ball since his amateur days. And as we found out from Ryan Ressa, TaylorMade’s player development manager, who has worked with Pak since he was in his early teens, it’s not surprising Pak will continue with the same bag setup and ball combination as he joins the professional ranks.

The Scotch Plains, New Jersey, native is an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy when it comes to his equipment, which is a trait Ressa sees among many of the game’s best. (Another TaylorMade staffer Tiger Woods, for one, comes to mind).

Ressa and TaylorMade have had a relationship with Pak for nearly a decade, and it’s Ressa’s job to not only make sure Pak is in the right equipment for his game but is also navigating the matrix of amateur competitions, college, and the decision to turn pro successfully.

According to Ressa, Pak, and other junior standouts, need new equipment, or at least a fitting, roughly every six months as their bodies and swings change.

Even so, while he’s transitioned into new fairway wood models as they’ve become available, the DNA of Pak’s bag has stayed largely the same.

“Jon is a very simple guy when it comes to equipment, and he doesn’t do a lot of tinkering outside of driver shafts,” Ressa said. “Deep down, he’s a great competitor. He just loves to compete and is focused on getting the ball in the hole. He’s stayed really, really consistent with the look of his irons, the loft of his wedges, and his bag setup. He’s been easy to work with and only needs one or two visits per year to get squared away.”

Read the full piece here.

Check out the full WITB here. 

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