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PGA of America Names Luke Donald Player of the Year & Vardon Trophy Recipient
Despite not capturing a major title this year, Luke Donald's steady play and his two victories - including a final-round 64 that led to a win in last week's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, captured both the 2011 PGA of America Player of the Year Award and the Vardon Trophy.
Donald becomes the second native of England to win the PGA of America Player of the Year award (which is different than the POY award given by the PGA Tour), joining Nick Faldo in 1990. Donald is also the second Brit to earn the Vardon Trophy, first presented to "Lighthorse" Harry Cooper in 1937.
The PGA Player of the Year, first presented in 1948, and the Vardon Trophy, which originated in 1937, are the PGA of America's premier season-ending awards for excellence by a Tour professional.
Donald earned 60 total points, based upon 20 points for winning the Accenture Match Play Championship and last week's victory, along with winning the season's money title and dominating the season scoring average (68.86). Webb Simpson, who made a late-season surge with a pair of victories, finished runner-up in both races with 56 points. Nick Watney was third with 48 points, followed by Steve Stricker with 42 and PGA champion Keegan Bradley with 40.
In dominating the Vardon Trophy race, Donald registered 73 complete rounds to garner the award derived from adjusted season scoring average. Runner-up Simpson averaged 69.25 based upon 98 rounds, and Stricker was third with 69.36 after 70 rounds.
The PGA Player of the Year Award is presented to the top touring professional based on a point system for tournament wins, official money standings and scoring averages. Points are tabulated from January 1 through the Children's Miracle Network Classic, the PGA Tour's last full-field event of the year.
The PGA Tour also recognizes its annual Player of the Year, with the winner determined by a vote of the membership. That award, called the Jack Nicklaus Trophy, will be announced by the Tour in December. Additionally, the Tour recognizes a Rookie of the Year and in select years, a Comeback Player of the Year, with both those awards determined by a vote among Tour members. Other season-ending honors to be announced by the PGA Tour include the Arnold Palmer Award for the leading money-winner and the Byron Nelson Award, presented to the player with the lowest adjusted scoring average (minimum of 50 official rounds).
The Vardon Trophy, named by the PGA of America in honor of famed British golfer Harry Vardon, is awarded annually to the touring professional with the lowest adjusted scoring average. It is based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA Tour. The adjusted score is computed from the average score of the field at each event.
The above report is courtesy of the PGA of America. For more information, visit www.pga.com.