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2013 PGA Tour Year In Review
By Kevin Currie, Senior Golf Editor
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 2013 PGA Tour season seemed to have a weather issue every week. Actually, only about half of the tournaments were effected by weather, but it sure seemed like there were storms every week.
It started with the first event in Hawaii, where the trade winds blew so hard, the tournament didn't officially start until Monday, the day the event was supposed to end.
The majors were not immune as the U.S. Open returned to the historic East Course at Merion Golf Club and the floodgates opened. Not literally, but heavy rain early in the week left the diabolical tract saturated and a Sunday downpour did nothing but increase the drama as the leaders were finishing up.
Justin Rose conquered that field, while Adam Scott and Jason Dufner all broke through for their first major championship titles. Phil Mickelson claimed his fifth major title, but first at the British Open.
Tiger Woods and Henrik Stenson had two of the best season's on tour with five and two wins, respectively. It was Stenson's second victory (at the Tour Championship) that helped him win the big prize, the FedExCup title.
Eight players that competed in the Tour Championship started the FedExCup Playoffs outside the top 30 in the FedExCup points standings, but played their way into the season finale.
The season was marked with 12 first-time winners. three of whom were tour rookies. One of those rookies went from no status to the Presidents Cup thanks to his stellar season.
Let's look at who did what in 2013:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR -- TIGER WOODS
Though he failed to win a major, Tiger Woods collected five titles in the 2013 season and was the Sport Network's Player of the Year.
Woods claimed two more World Golf Championship titles, raising his total to 18. That gives him six times more WGC titles than another other player as Geoff Ogilvy has the second most WGC titles with three.
Woods had seven top-5 finishes and eight top-10s this season, which helped him earned well over $2 million more than second place finisher Henrik Stenson.
In his five victories this season, Woods posted 18 under par rounds and went 74-under par overall. That is a big turnaround from the majors at which he was plus-14.
Woods collected top-10 finishes at the Masters (T4) and British Open (T6), but struggled at the U.S. Open (T32) and PGA Championship (T40).
Though he had a big year on the course, Woods' season had a few black marks as he had a few rules gaffes. At the Masters, he took a drop a little too far away from his original hitting spot after his mare caromed off the flagstick and into the water.
Woods had another brush with the rules when his ball moved at the BMW Championship. He was adamant that his ball just oscillated, but he was penalized nonetheless.
Woods got the nod over Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Stenson.
TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR -- BRITISH OPEN
The Masters had a solid playoff battle between Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera, and the Hyundai Tournament of Champions was blown into a Tuesday finish by high winds through the week.
However, the tournament of the year was Phil Mickelson's rally to win the British Open Championship.
Lee Westwood led entering the final round at Muirfield, while fellow Englishman Ian Poulter used a stellar run early on the back nine to soar into contention.
But it was Mickelson's late charge that helped him win the claret jug. He used back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 to move into red figures. Mickelson parred his next two holes, then birdied the last two to seal his fifth major championship, but first British Open.
Mickelson warmed up for that victory with a win the week before at the Scottish Open. They were his first two officials wins on European soil.
It was a title Mickelson thought he'd never win, but the following helped him accomplished that feat ...
SHOT OF THE YEAR -- MICKELSON'S STELLAR SECOND SHOT
A month after finishing second at the U.S. Open for a record sixth time, Phil Mickelson used a late charge to win the British Open Championship.
The shot that helped seal that win was his approach on the 71st hole. His 3- wood approach shot took a couple of good bounces and rolled onto the putting surface. Mickelson 2-putted for birdie, and he also birdied the last to win his first Open Championship.
Mickelson birdied four of the last six holes to break through a crowd that included Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Masters winner Adam Scott and Lee Westwood.
It was the clutch second shot on the penultimate hole that helped Mickelson win the title.
Among other shots considered were Mickelson's putt for 59 that lipped out in Phoenix, Jim Furyk's hole out eagle on No. 15 en route to shooting 59 at the BMW Championship and Scott Brown's tee shot off a bridge to three feet to set up eagle at the driveable 16th at The Barclays.
ROOKIE OF YEAR -- JORDAN SPIETH
When you start the season with no status, but end the season on the Presidents Cup team, you must have done something special in between.
Jordan Spieth played a pair of Web.com events early in the year and shared fourth and seventh in those two starts. That was just the start of something special.
Having already claimed seven top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour, Spieth fired three straight 65s to gain spot in a playoff at the John Deere Classic. For Spieth and David Hearn, it was their first chance at a PGA Tour win. But, they had to get through 2012 champion Zach Johnson if they wanted that crown.
It took five extra holes, but Spieth finally claimed his first PGA Tour title, and a spot in the field at the British Open. Hearn and Johnson both had chances on the first four holes to win the playoff, but it was Spieth on the fifth extra hole that broke through for the win.
Just to get into the playoff, Spieth needed to birdie five of the last six holes. His last birdie was a chip-in from a greenside bunker.
He started with a 69 at the Open Championship, but slid into a share of 44th. Along with a win, Spieth collected three runner-up finishes, including one at the Tour Championship. Among his nine top-10 finishes were five top-5s.
He earned a spot on the U.S. Presidents Cup squad, and he went 2-2 in his first national team appearance as a pro.
Spieth earned the award, while Russell Henley, David Lingmerth and Derek Ernst were also considered.
- Henrik Stenson ended the season with a flourish that helped him win the FedExCup. Following a second-place finish at the British Open, he took third at the PGA Championship. He then won two of the four Playoff events en route to the FedExCup title. Tallied eight top-10 finishes on the season.
- Phil Mickelson may have finish second at the U.S. Open for a record sixth time, but he did win his first British Open Championship thanks to a final- round 66. Earlier in the year, he opened with a 60 at the Phoenix Open and cruised to a 4-stroke win. He posted six top-5 finishes and that helped him take fourth on the money list.
- Adam Scott played a limited schedule, but it helped as he won two titles, including his first major at the Masters. Scott birdied the second playoff hole to beat Angel Cabrera for this first major championship. That, and a win at The Barclays, propelled Scott to a sixth place finish on the money list.
- Two years after coughing up the PGA Championship, Jason Dufner rallied at this year's PGA to beat Jim Furyk and claim his first major championship.
- Ricky Barnes missed 15 cuts in 26 starts, and his share of 12th at the Byron Nelson was his best finish of the year. He needed to go through the Web.com Finals Series to keep his PGA Tour card for the 2014 season. He shared sixth in the second event in that series and earned enough there to keep his PGA Tour status. Lucky for him as he missed the cut in the other three events.
- Chad Campbell made 14 cuts in 25 starts and collected one top-10 finish, but finished outside the top 125 on the money list and FedExCup points list. Played all four Web.com Finals events, but missed two cuts and finished outside the top 25 in the other two. Will play the 2014 season with partial status.
- Sean O'Hair played the weekend in just one of his final nine events. Made seven cuts in 22 starts and a share of 16th at Pebble Beach was his best finish of the year. Kept his tour card by posting three top-20 finishes in the Web.com Finals Series. Has just two top-10 finishes since he won the 2011 Canadian Open.
- Robert Allenby played all four rounds in just one of his first 12 events. Overall, he made just five cuts in 24 starts. He will be using a one-time exemption for being in the top 25 on the career money list to keep his tour status for 2014.
11/11 13:20:39 ET
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