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SportShackelford: Rory McIlroy’s POY award raises unfortunate questions

02:15  12 september  2019
02:15  12 september  2019 Source:   golfweek.com

In an upset, Rory McIlroy wins PGA Tour Player of the Year over Brooks Koepka

In an upset, Rory McIlroy wins PGA Tour Player of the Year over Brooks Koepka Rory McIlroy captured the honor for the second straight season, beating out Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Matt Kuchar for the award.

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Transparency strikes again.

Cue the Russian bot jokes.

Throw in a few conspiracy theories. Some outlandish, some not. What you get will be the unfortunate response to what is otherwise a very minor controversy: Rory McIlroy was voted PGA Tour Player of the Year by his peers.

While McIlroy's season was almost as spectacular as Brooks Koepka's, McIlroy took the secret player vote announced Wednesday from somewhere in greater Palm Beach. That's likely where Commissioner Jay Monahan and the award's namesake, Jack Nicklaus, presented McIlroy the trophy.

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Rory McIlroy shot an excruciating round of 79 on Saturday and once again finished over-par at The Masters. McIlroy followed up the first round upset by withdrawing at The Honda Classic after a poor showing and finishing eighth at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

If we can answer specific questions , please contact us through the email address shown on appropriate county office page, give us a call at 325-762-9400 or come by our offices in the historic Shackelford County Courthouse at 225 South Main Street in the center of downtown Albany, Texas.

The PGA Tour Player of the Year voting totals are not published, and even McIlroy said in a conference call with writers that the Tour did not tell him how the voting played out. He also said he was "somewhat surprised" to win and the normally eloquent 30-year-old stumbled through an answer attempting to explain why he was caught off-guard by the news.

Maybe Monahan, seated next to him, was dangling McIlroy's $15 million FedEx Cup check. Or maybe McIlroy did not want to admit he voted for Koepka, just what you'd expect from a player growing increasingly humble and grounded despite a swollen bank account and a hard-earned knack for hitting 340-yard drives.

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The Ulsterman won three times in 2019, including the Tour Championship.

Gerry McIlroy was a bar steward in Belfast 10 years ago when he placed a hardly insignificant £200 bet that his 15-year-old son, Rory , would win the Open Championship As the 25-year-old McIlroy raised the Claret Jug aloft at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club after winning by two shots on Sunday, his father

The conference call was cut off after only a handful of media questions that will now persist without voting transparency. Koepka already had won the PGA of America's Player of the Year award - determined by a points system- and will undoubtedly win the Golf Writers Association of America's year-end vote based on his major championship play. Since 1992, the PGA of America award and PGA Tour player vote have agreed on the best golfer of the season.

Not this year.

Both players won three times, including one limited-field event each. McIlroy was more consistent with 14 top-10s in 19 starts to Koepka's nine top-10s in 21 starts.McIlroy turned in big time wins (The Players, RBC Canadian, Tour Championship), but so did Koepka (CJ Cup, PGA Championship, WGC FedEx St. Jude).

The obvious tiebreaker came in Grand Slam events.

Shackelford: Rory McIlroy’s POY award raises unfortunate questions© USA TODAY File photo

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka hug after the final round of the 2019 Tour Championship. Photo: Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports

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Koepka, about four or so shots from winning three majors, was an astounding 36-under-par and 18 strokes better than the next best player to make all four cuts, Xander Schauffele.

Head-to-head Koepka was a whopping 21 strokes better in the three majors where McIlroy made the cut.

Which brings us back to the bots.

MVP races in other sports are determined through a combination of transparent methods relying primarily on media (NBA, MLB, NHL) or media and ex-players-turned media (NFL). Vote systems and totals are shared.

The PGA Tour could be seen as wise in keeping their player voting secret just in case players turned their vote into a popularity contest. Yet for 27 straight years the players have confirmed what a points system told us about on-course play. Until 2019.

Without transparency, the PGA Tour takes what should be a fun, 19 th hole debate and encourages imaginations to run wild. Not knowing the vote total or even how many players opened the email from headquarters leads to inevitable and unfortunate questions.

Did it come down to a popularity contest, with the friendly McIlroy edging the sometimes gruff Koepka?

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18-time major champion, Jack Nicklaus questions Rory McIlroy ' s decision to play in Memphis a week before the U. S . Open.

Welcome to Shackelford County Appraisal District! 2019 Notices of Appraised Value have been mailed. Please see the following schedule for ARB and Shackelford County Appraisal District is responsible for appraising all real and business personal property within Shackelford County as well

Was there any kind of internal campaign to validate McIlroy's season as a Players and FedEx Cup winner, both events owned by the players and compensating them in very lucrative fashion?

I'm guessing eyes rolled when Monahan introduced McIlroy on the call by labeling those "landmark victories" in another example of the tour's desperation to elevate events needing no artificial elevating. They often undermine the tournaments as no one enjoys or respects the hard sell.

Here's the funny part: Koepka now has more grist for his bizarre mill that feeds off of slights.

McIlroy's peers may simply have felt consistency trumped major play - even historically astounding numbers in majors by Koepka - and that's fine. But without knowing any of the vote numbers, McIlroy's PGA Tour Player of the Year win will stand out for all of the wrong reasons.

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