LIV recruit Smith on PGA Tour Player of Year shortlist with McIlroy, Scheffler

Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and recent LIV Golf recruit Cameron Smith nominated for PGA Tour Player of the Year award; Smith won The Open and The Players, while Scheffler is the reigning Masters champion; McIlroy became the first player to win FedExCup three times

Last Updated: 06/09/22 10:43am

Cameron Smith, who has joined LIV Golf, and Rory McIlroy, one of LIV Golf's biggest critics, have both been nominated for PGA Tour's Player of the Year Award
Cameron Smith, who has joined LIV Golf, and Rory McIlroy, one of LIV Golf’s biggest critics, have both been nominated for PGA Tour’s Player of the Year Award

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler, FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy and Champion Golfer of the Year Cameron Smith have been named as the three nominees for the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year award.

Smith is included on the shortlist despite joining LIV Golf at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, which will make him ineligible to feature on the PGA Tour next season.

The Australian was a three-time champion during an impressive 2022, posting the lowest 72-hole total in PGA Tour history to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January and the claiming a narrow victory in The Players at TPC Sawgrass.

The Open champion Cameron Smith says it is unfair that those who have joined LIV Golf are not receiving world ranking points and hopes that changes before his exemption into golf's four majors expires.

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The Open champion Cameron Smith says it is unfair that those who have joined LIV Golf are not receiving world ranking points and hopes that changes before his exemption into golf’s four majors expires.

The Open champion Cameron Smith says it is unfair that those who have joined LIV Golf are not receiving world ranking points and hopes that changes before his exemption into golf’s four majors expires.

Smith earned a maiden major title with a one-shot victory in The 150th Open at St Andrews, one of seven top-10s during the season, before ending the year 20th in the FedExCup standings ahead of his move to the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit.

Scheffler won four times in six starts early in the year to parachute him to world No 1, following victories at the WM Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play by registering a breakthrough major win at The Masters.

A look at how 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler has risen through the ranks to become world No 1.

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A look at how 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler has risen through the ranks to become world No 1.

A look at how 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler has risen through the ranks to become world No 1.

The American added four runner-up finishes including at the Tour Championship, where McIlroy overturned a six-stroke deficit in the final round to become the first three-time winner of the FedExCup.

McIlroy – one of the most outspoken critics of LIV Golf – also won The CJ Cup last October and successfully defended his RBC Canadian Open title during a memorable season, where he also posted top-eight finishes in all four majors.

The best of the action from the final round of the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club

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The best of the action from the final round of the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club

The best of the action from the final round of the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club

The shortlist was finalised by the PGA Tour Player Directors and members of the Player Advisory Council (PAC), with PGA Tour members having until September 9 to vote on this year’s recipient of the Jack Nicklaus Award.

A three-man shortlist for the Rookie of the Year was also announced, with Joohyung (Tom) Kim, Sahith Theegala and Cameron Young in contention to win the Arnold Palmer Award.

Kim became the youngest PGA Tour winner since Jordan Spieth with his victory at the Wyndham Championship last month, seeing him book a last-minute spot in the FedExCup Playoffs despite only taking up Special Temporary Membership the previous month.

Young enjoyed five runner-up finishes during his rookie season, including at The Open, while Theegala registered five top-10s and qualified for the season-ending Tour Championship in his maiden campaign.

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