Ranking the Top 3 Contenders to Win the 2021 PGA Tour Player of the Year Award

Published 09/04/2021, 10:20 AM EDT
Aug 20, 2021; Jersey City, New Jersey, USA; Jon Rahm watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the second round of The Northern Trust golf tournament at the Liberty National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports


As the season has almost ended, the PGA Tour player of the season award has been getting into the limelight. The tour awards the winner with the Jack Nicklaus trophy, and it is determined through a voting process. However, there was a time when voting for the PGA Tour player of the season award was about major championship victories. 

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Meanwhile, they scrapped this notion in 2019 when Rory McIlroy won the Nicklaus trophy. Rory won the Tour Championship and the FedExCup to complete the season with three victories. However, he did not win any major events, and yet they gave Rory the PGA Tour player of the year award. 

Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka had won PGA Championship and finished runner-up for Masters and U.S. Open along with three victories, but still couldn’t get the Nicklaus award. Hence, it is tough to say who exactly will win the Nicklaus trophy, but here are the top 3 players in contention to win the PGA Tour player of the season award this year. 

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Top 3 picks to win the PGA Tour player of the season award

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Aug 29, 2021; Owings Mills, Maryland, USA; Patrick Cantlay lines up a putt on the third playoff hole during the final round of the BMW Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

3. Collin Morikawa – The Open Championship winner has been consistent throughout the year, apart from the playoffs. Collin Morikawa has two victories and a major trophy this season, making him one of the most consistent players on the Tour. However, the only thing which can restrict players from voting for him would be his recent form at the FedExCup playoffs. 

2. Patrick Cantlay – An underdog who has been performing exceptionally well in this season. He is the only player with three wins this season. First at the Zozo Championship, then the Memorial, and recently the BMW Championship. And if he can manage to get his hands on the Tour Championship, he would be the only player with four trophies in this season and become the prime contender for the Nicklaus trophy. 

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1. Jon Rahm – The player who has been the most impressive throughout the year is Jon Rahm. Apart from the U.S. Open, he has won nothing, but don’t let that fool you. He has been the most consistent player in 2021. Rahm had almost won the Memorial before getting informed about the COVID tragedy. He has 14 top 10 finishes this year, which shows his Tiger-like consistency. However, if he can register a win this week at the East Lake, then there is no stopping him from getting the PGA Tour player award as well.  

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Amey Kulkarni

293 articles

Amey Kulkarni is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in mass media. Before joining EssentiallySports he used to write articles on Golf and Cricket on his personal blog cricgolf.

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