Atypically, this award has caused a lot of discussion and argument. The golf world is split between Brooks Koepka & Rory McIlroy; and rightly so.
Brooks won the PGA Tour POY; Rory won the PGA Tour Players’ POY. Nobody else was close.
Brooks’ award was based on a points system while Rory’s award was voted by players and thus contains elements of a popularity contest. Brooks won by a single point while Rory was the far more popular of the two.
However, these awards were for the PGA Tour season 2018/19, whereas mine is global and for calendar 2019. Brooks thus loses his 2018 CJ Cup win in the Mikes Awards context.
How can we Measure POY?
It looks easy; just examine wins. However, some wins mean more than others: a Major means more than a WGC which means more than a ‘regular’ tournament.
Among those ‘regular’ events, the PGA Tour’s Players Championship means more than any other regular tournament on tour.
In my estimation there is no unequivocal winner from measuring wins because:
- Brooks won a Major; Rory didn’t;
- Each achieved one WGC win and;
- Elsewhere, Rory had three wins while Brooks had none.
Herein lies the crux of the argument.
Does Brooks’ PGA Championship (Major) win outweigh Rory’s: Players + Canadian + Tour Championship victories? I say no.
Who Performed Better in the Majors?
Brooks Koepka. His record was: 2, 1, 2, 4. Rory’s Major record was: 21, 8, 9, mc.
In summary, Brooks was the best Major performer, among all players; light years ahead of Rory.
Who Performed Better in the WGC’s?
Brooks’ record was: 27, 64, 1, dns. Rory’s was: 2, 16, 4, 1.
With one win each, Rory wins this category by dint of superior consistency.
Who Performed Better Elsewhere?
Rory did, by a considerable margin, with wins at: The Players Championship, Canadian Open and Tour Championship versus Brooks with zero other wins.
How About 2nd Places?
Rory (2): WGC Mexico, Omega European Masters.
Brooks (3): Honda Classic, The Masters, US Open.
No joy for the Rory truthers here; Brooks wins this category with 2nd placings at two Majors.
How Best to Split them?
I tried a points system, as follows:
Wins: Major 10; Players & WGC’s 7; All others 4
Runners-up: Major 4, Players & WGC’s 2; All others 1
Top5: Any PGA or European Tour tournament placing not scored above: 1point.
On this basis, Rory scored 28 points and Brooks 29.
- Brooks won the Majors category;
- Rory won the WGC category;
- Brooks won the runner-up category;
- Rory won the ‘Other tournaments’ category;
- My points system could barely separate them.
So, does Brooks win or does Rory win? Or should we just call it a tie?
In the end, I decided to award my POY to Rory because: he’s more intriguing to watch and had less inconsistency throughout the year.