Justin Thomas voted Player of the Year; Xander Schauffele named top rookie

Justin Thomas voted Player of the Year; Xander Schauffele named top rookie”

After all that, it was no surprise when the tour said Wednesday that Thomas had been voted the PGA Tour player of the year.

The tour does not disclose the vote totals. Thomas will receive the Jack Nicklaus Trophy as player of the year, and he also captured the Arnold Palmer Trophy as the Tour's leading money victor this season ($9,921,560, and that's before his $10 million haul for winning the FedEx title).

Thomas has little time to celebrate the award or revel in his role in a runaway U.S. victory in the Presidents Cup that concluded Sunday at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.

Old enough to be their grandpappy or not, skipper Steve Stricker's wild card pick boosted his Prez Cup record to 26-16-13 to become the winningest PC player since a certain vice captain prevailed in his 24th match in 2013.

"All wins are sweet and when you can win in your home state is really nice", Steele said. "I thought this week is a really good way to stay fresh and get some work done and the assess". "I've got plenty of time to get out there and get ready to compete".

Thomas all but locked up the award when he closed with a 66 at East Lake and was runner-up at the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup.

Long-time PGA Tour executive Charlie Zink retired following the Presidents Cup last week, after 31 years and serving under three of the four commissioners in the organization's history.

He was announced for the PGA Tour award a few days before heading to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic, where it all started. He defeated Thomas by one shot.

He also won the season-long points race, the FedExCup, and set an all-time tour record low score of 253 strokes at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January.

Thomas won his first career major in August at the PGA Championship. Zink oversaw the Tour's consolidated financial, executive board and administration; TPC and golf course properties operations; The First Tee and World Golf Hall of Fame development and operations; and Championship Management, including The Players Championship, the Presidents Cup and the Tour Championship. Thomas was another member of that class, joining Spieth in winning the FedEx Cup. He missed that by one.

Only three other players - Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth - since 1960 have won five tournaments including a major in a single season before turning 25. He was the victor of this event two years ago and placed 26 last year. He also listed a half-dozen statistical goals involving putting, scrambling, scoring average and his consistency from tee-to-green. This year, the 10 automatic spots were determined on September 4 after the second FedEx Cup playoff event - three weeks ahead of the matches. "But that shot I hit on 17 at the PGA was probably the best shot I've ever hit in my life under those circumstances".

And to think that at this time a year ago, Thomas had only one victory.

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