Handing Out End-of-Year Awards
Wednesday, November 14, 2007; 1:19 PM
The silly season of made-for-TV golf is now upon us, which means the real 2007 season, including the PGA Tour's afterthought fall series, is finally over. So let's offer our year-end review.
Player of Year, PGA Tour: If you have to ask, this column's not for you.
Player of Year, PGA Tour, non-Tiger Woods division: I'll take Irishman Padraig Harrington. I know, he only finished 21st on the money list and had only three top tens in 18 starts, but his remarkable playoff victory in the British Open at Carnoustie, when he survived a double bogey at the 72nd hole and held himself together to beat Sergio Garcia in a four-hole aggregate playoff, trumps everyone else.
Player of Year, LPGA: Lorena Ochoa of Mexico dominated women's golf all season and finally broke through for her own first major title, winning a historic Women's British Open at St. Andrews. In addition to being a brilliant shotmaker and fierce competitor, she's an absolute delight in the interview tent, a classy young woman who makes it a point before most tournaments to visit course maintenance workers, many of them her own countrymen, to thank them for their efforts.
Rookie of Year, PGA Tour: Brandt Snedeker finished 17th on the money list, won the Wyndham tournament and was 20th in the final FedEx Cup standings after making 23 cuts in his 29 tournament appearances.
Rookie of Year, LPGA: Angela Park, born in Brazil to Korean parents, had six top-10 finishes in 23 starts and wins this honor going away.
Quote of Year: (Ugly) American Boo Weekely at the British Open, complaining about the food in Scotland. "Ain't got not sweet tea, ain't got no fried chicken."
Dumbest Quote of Year: Rory Sabbatini telling reporters at The Players Championship that Tiger Woods was "more beatable than ever."
Shot of Year: Angel Cabrera's 9-iron approach at the 15th hole at Oakmont on the final day of the U.S. Open landed two feet from the cup for a kick-in birdie, allowing him to bogey two of his last three holes and still win his first major. Runner-up: Cabrera's clutch 346-yard drive at the 72nd hole about 30 minutes later.
Putt of Year: Harrington's six-footer to save a double bogey at the 72nd hole at Carnoustie, good enough for him to get into a playoff he ultimately won.
Despicable Act of Year: Sergio Garcia missed a short putt at the 13th hole at Doral and spit into the cup.
Photo of Year: American Woody Austin swimming with the fishes at the Presidents Cup in Montreal.