Smith amongst PGA Tour Player of the Year nominees

The PGA Tour has announced the nominees for Player of the Year (Jack Nicklaus Award) and Rookie of the Year (Arnold Palmer Award).

It’s been a breakthrough year for several players, however the surprise name on the list, given his recent move to LIV Golf, is Cameron Smith. The Queenslander is amongst a trio, including Rory McIlroy and Scottie Schefffler, in the running for the prestigious honour.

Cameron Smith Cameron Smith (Credit: R&A)

There’s no question that Smith deserves a nomination following a year in which he won three tournaments from 18 starts including the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Players Championship and of course, his first major at the Open Championship in July.

The 29-year-old faces stiff competition from Rory McIlroy, who also recorded three wins on his way to sealing the deal at the 2022 FedExCup season-long race. The 33-year-old also matched Tiger Woods’ record low Scoring Average of 68.670 set in 2009 and became the first player ever to win the FedExCup three times.

In the box seat, however, is America’s Scottie Scheffler. The Texan was a tour-de-force earlier in the season winning his first major at the Masters in April amongst four victories and a second place behind McIlroy in the FedExCup.

The Rookie Of The Year awards are just as close. With five runner-up finishes and 19th on the FedExCup, Cameron Young is perhaps an obvious favourite although the 25-year-old will be hard to seperate from Sahith Theegala and recent Wyndham Championship winner, 20-year-old South Korean, Joohyung (Tom) Kim.

The peer-voted Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards close on September 9 and the winners announced later this year.