Day challenges Spieth for PGA player of the year

If you would have told me after the U.S. Open that Jordan Spieth would not be the PGA Tour Player of the Year, I would have said you were crazy.

After winning the Masters at 18-under-par, tying Tiger Woods’ 1997 record, Spieth captured his second straight major of the year at the U.S. Open by one stroke, with a little help from Dustin Johnson’s collapse on No. 18.

So, Spieth entered The Open Championship No. 2 in the world, behind Rory McIIroy, eyeing the third-leg of the calendar Grand Slam.

The Texan fell one stroke shy of entering a four-way playoff for the Claret Jug on golf’s most sacred ground, but his fourth-place finish pushed him to the top of rankings and a clear choice for player of the year.

Spieth had four wins on the year, played the first three majors 37 strokes under par, finishing 1-1-T4, and it would have been insane to think someone would challenge Spieth for player of the year.

Enter Jason Day.

Let’s not forget the second round of U.S. Open when Day suffered a case of vertigo and collapsed in the middle of his round and went on to finish his last nine holes, uncertain if he would play the rest of the tournament.

The very next day he returned. The result – he was tied for the lead heading into Sunday, finishing ninth for the championship.

Many forget that Spieth didn’t finish alone in fourth place at The Open. Day also sat just one shot back from entering the playoff, holding a share of the lead heading into the final round.

But despite finishing the U.S. Open and The Open Championship in the top 10, questions surrounded Day’s health and whether he would be able to compete the rest of the season.

Day put all of the questions to rest when he shot the lowest score in relation to par (-20) ever recorded in a major at the PGA Championship.

Oh, and Spieth? He finished second, two strokes away from this third major.

So when the sun was setting in Wisconsin after the season’s final major, Spieth was still the favorite to be player of the year.

However, Day wasn’t going away quietly.

Day’s win at the BMW Championship Sunday gave him five wins this season, including four in his last six starts.

Next week in Atlanta, the Australian can escalate the argument for player of the year honors if he wins the Tour Championship.

Of course Spieth can put all the questions to rest with a win at East Lake Golf Club, but if not and Day wins, what’s the answer for player of the year?

Since the award was created in 1990 every two-time major winner has been player of the year – except Nick Faldo, who was not a member of the tour when he did it in 1990.

However, every five-time winner since the award’s inception has taken home the honors.

So if Day wins Sunday, the question stands – more majors or more wins?



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