Adam Scott’s last victory of 2013 came not on the golf course, but from a group of voters. The 33-year-old was named Male Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America, edging Tiger Woods by five votes.
The choice was hardly as close as in the other two categories where Kenny Perry was picked as the GWAA’s Senior Player of the Year and Inbee Park was named Female Player of the Year. Both Perry and Park gathered 91 percent of the 220 voters to take their honors.
Scott became the first Aussie to win the Masters, then added a FedExCup playoff victory at The Barclays. His two PGA Tour wins lagged behind the five won by Woods, which earned Woods PGA Tour Player of the Year honors with his colleagues and the PGA of America.
But the GWAA, which has honored Woods 10 times in the past as its Player of the Year, goes outside the boundaries of the PGA Tour and takes into consideration global play. Apparently the Aussie’s brilliant stretch Down Under in November and December swayed voters; Scott won the Australian PGA and the Australian Masters, teamed with Jason Day to win the team portion of the World Cup of Golf and was second in the Australian Open.
For the year, Scott — who is ranked second in the world behind Woods — played 20 tournaments worldwide, won four of them, finished in the top three eight times and top 10 in half of them, and never missed a cut. In addition to his win at the Masters, Scott was joint third at the Open Championship and joint fifth at the PGA Championship.
“It is an honor to be recognized as the most consistent male golfer of 2013 and it is appreciated to have the respect of the Golf Writers of America. Thank you,” said Scott from Maui where he’s preparing to kick off his 2013-14 PGA Tour season at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Perry had three wins on the Champions Tour, two of them majors – the Senior Players Championship and the Senior U.S. Open. He also earned the season-long Charles Schwab Cup and easily won the GWAA honor over Bernhard Langer.
“It is my highest honor, from the players or the writers, to be named player of the year,” said Perry. “Here I am at 53 doing stuff I probably shouldn’t be doing, I’m so honored that the writers are paying attention to me.”
The winners will be honored April 9 at the annual GWAA Awards Dinner in Augusta, Ga., the night before the start of the Masters.
The 25-year-old Park scripted one of the most compelling golf stories in 2013 by stringing together victories in the season’s first three majors – the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship, and the U.S. Women’s Open. Her bid for a Grand Slam came up short when she finished T-42 at the Women’s British Open. Still, for the season, the native of Seoul dominated, with six victories, the money title, and the No. 1 spot in the LPGA Tour’s Player of the Year standings.
“Last year was a year that I could never forget,” said Park, who finished well ahead of Stacy Lewis in the balloting. “I was able to put my name among the greatest players around the world. Now, on top of that, I am being recognized and honored by golf writers. They are those who know what has just happened last year in every detail. I can almost say that they know me better than I know myself. That’s why this honor is very special and means a lot to me.”