Planet Golf — 06 October 2015 by GW staff and news services
Spieth’s strong finish wins top award

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The PGA Tour announced Friday Jordan Spieth as the PGA TOUR Player of the Year and Jack Nicklaus Award recipient, and Daniel Berger as PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, as voted by the TOUR’s membership for the 2014-15 season.

PGA TOUR members who played in at least 15 official money events this past season were eligible to vote. The balloting process ended on October 1.

The 22-year-old Spieth became the youngest PGA Tour Player of the Year since Tiger Woods won the award at the age of 21 in 1997.

“The PGA Tour enjoyed a sensational season from every perspective as our young stars shone brighter than ever before, but none brighter than the PGA Tour Player of the Year Jordan Spieth,” said PGA   Commissioner Tim Finchem. “He captivated us throughout a memorable year that included the FedExCup and five victories, highlighted by two major championships. And the sportsmanship he displayed in both victory and defeat was a stirring indication of the role model and ambassador he has become in a very short period of time.”

One of nine PGA   rookies who advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs, Berger, 22, earned his spot as the only rookie at the TOUR Championship after a runner-up finish in the penultimate Playoffs event, the BMW Championship.

“Daniel Berger caught the attention of golf fans early on as he charged up the leaderboard at The Honda Classic for his first brush with victory, finishing runner-up in a playoff,” said Finchem. “He capped his first season on Tour with a strong showing in the FedExCup Playoffs and demonstrated great character and sportsmanship on and off the course, as evidence by this peer vote.”

It was a historic and record-setting year for Spieth who won two major championships and the season-ending TOUR Championship, becoming the youngest winner of the FedExCup. In total, the Dallas native won five events — the Valspar Championship, Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, John Deere Classic and the TOUR Championship – and was just the sixth different player to win five or more times in a season on the PGA Tour since 1980, joining Tom Watson (1980), Nick Price (1994), Vijay Singh (2004), Tiger Woods (10 times) and Jason Day (2014-15).

In the majors, Spieth won the Masters Tournament and U.S. Open, becoming the youngest player since Gene Sarzazen (1922) to capture two major championships. Spieth’s remarkable run at the Grand Slam ended at The Open Championship, where he fell one shot shy of a three-way playoff but managed a tie for fourth, followed by a second-place finish to Day at the PGA Championship.

Along the way to the FedExCup title, Spieth broke Woods’ PGA Tour season record for FedExCup points (4,169) and entered the FedExCup Playoffs No. 1 in the standings. After two missed cuts in the Playoffs, Spieth rebounded to finish T13 at the BMW Championship and went on to clinch the FedExCup with a four-shot victory over Henrik Stenson, Danny Lee and Justin Rose at the TOUR Championship.

Currently the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, Spieth amassed a record $12,030,465 to earn the Arnold Palmer Award as the leading money winner and also finished first in Adjusted Scoring Average (68.938) to earn the Byron Nelson Award (PGA Tour) and Vardon Trophy (PGA of America).

In 25 starts, Spieth led the PGA Tour with 15 top-10s, including four runner-up finishes, with 21 made cuts.

Set to play for the United States in his second Presidents Cup next week, Spieth was elected as PGA Player of the Year over Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy.

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