In another sign of the growing importance of the FedExCup among players, the PGA Tour membership voted Patrick Cantlay the circuit’s Player of the Year.
Cantlay led the Tour with four victories and was dominant in the playoffs with triumphs at the BMW Championship and Tour Championship to secure the FedExCup, but there was not a sense he was the runaway favorite to claim the Jack Nicklaus Award.
At East Lake, many players contended that Jon Rahm was the player of the year despite having won just once during the 2020-21 season. The Spaniard was dominant in the majors with a victory at the U.S. Open in June and top-10 finishes in all four majors contested this year.
Rahm also would have finished tied for first at the Tour Championship, alongside Kevin Na, if not for the strokes-based scoring system used at the finale that gave Cantlay a 10-under head start for the week.
Rahm likely would have also won the Memorial, which Cantlay won. Rahm had to withdraw from that event with a six-stroke lead through 54 holes after testing positive for COVID-19.
Although it’s assumed that the voting was close between Cantlay and Rahm, the Tour doesn’t release vote totals.