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GWAA Names Donald, Tseng & Lehman Players of the Year
Luke Donald, Yani Tseng and Tom Lehman have been named 2011 Players of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America. It is the first GWAA POY award for Donald and the second for Tseng and Lehman. They will be honored at the GWAA's Annual Awards Dinner on April 4 in Augusta, Ga., on the eve of the Masters Tournament.
All three players were runaway winners in the balloting. Donald received 88 percent of the votes (180 votes) for Male Player of the Year to nine percent (19) for Keegan Bradley. Webb Simpson was third (three percent) followed by Rory McIlroy (two percent). Tseng received 95 percent of the vote for Female POY (194 votes) to two percent for Stacy Lewis (five votes). Suzann Pettersen and Lexi Thompson also received votes. In the Senior race, Lehman took 86 percent of with 177 votes to eight percent (16 votes) for John Cook. Mark Calcavecchia (10 votes) was third in the balloting.
In becoming the No. 1-ranked player in the world, Donald won four times worldwide and became the first player in history to win the money titles on both the PGA and European tours. He also won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average. His U.S. wins included the BMW PGA Championship and World Golf Championship-Match Play Championship. In addition, he had an amazing 14 top-10s in 19 PGA Tour events.
Donald came from behind with a closing 64 to win the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. That dramatic victory gave him the PGA Tour money list title. His third-place finish at the Dubai World Championship led him to take the European money list title - the Race to Dubai. Donald also won the Golf Writers Trophy (a vote of the Association of Golf Writers) and the European Tour's Player of the Year award. It's the third time in four years a European-born player has won the GWAA award.
Tseng dominated women's golf with a dozen wins, including two more majors - the LPGA Championship and the Women's British Open - for her second straight GWAA Player of the Year award. In 2011, Tseng became the youngest player to win five majors. She also led the LPGA in scoring and earnings, winning the Rolex Player of the Year award. The Taiwanese player who resides in Florida had 14 top-10 finishes and won almost double the amount of money ($2.921 million) as second-place Cristie Kerr ($1.47 million).
Lehman won three times in 2011, including his second Champions Tour major - the Regions Tradition - in a playoff over Peter Senior of Australia. The Minnesotan had 12 top-10 finishes to lead the Champions Tour's money list and win the Charles Schwab Cup and over-50 circuit's POY honors. Lehman, who won the GWAA's Male Player of the Year award in 1996, became the first player ever to win Player-of-the-Year honors on the Nationwide, PGA and Champions tours.
The above report is courtesy of the Golf Writers Association of America. The GWAA, founded in 1946, takes an active role in protecting the interests of all golf journalists, works closely with all of golf's major governing bodies and the World Golf Hall of Fame. For more information, visit www.gwaa.com.