Golf: McIlroy, Day, Scott among Player of Year finalists

PLayers (from left) Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Adam Scott are in the running.
PLayers (from left) Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Adam Scott are in the running.PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

CHASKA, United States (AFP) - Rory McIlroy, who captured the season-ending US PGA Tour Championship last weekend to win a US$10 million (S$13.6 million) playoff bonus, was among the six finalists named on Tuesday (Sept 27) for PGA Player of the Year.

The finalist lineup includes the six leaders in the world rankings - Australia's world number one Jason Day and sixth-ranked Adam Scott, British Open winner Henrik Stenson of Sweden, US Open champion Dustin Johnson and two-time major winner Jordan Spieth.

South Korean Kim Si-Woo was among three finalists named for the tour's Rookie of the Year award, joined by Argentina's Emiliano Grillo and American Smylie Kaufman.

Both awards are determined by a vote among players who competed in at least 15 events this past season, with balloting ending Oct 7 and results expected to be announced the following week.

Northern Ireland's third-ranked McIlroy, a leader for holders Europe this week against the United States at the 41st Ryder Cup, won the Deutsche Bank Championship playoff event as well as the Irish Open last May on the European Tour.

Day won three times this year as well, taking the Arnold Palmer Invitational, World Golf Championships Match Play and The Players Championship.

Johnson won his first major at the US Open and also took the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW Championship before settling for second behind McIlroy in the season points chase. He led the US PGA Tour money list and took the Byron Nelson Award with the low scoring average of 69.172 strokes.

Scott won the Honda Classic and WGC Cadillac Championship while Spieth took the Tournament of Champions and Dean and Deluca Invitational.

Stenson's only win of the year came at the British Open for his first major title but it came with a record 72-hole low major score of 264. He also took a silver medal at the Rio Olympics behind England's Justin Rose after a memorable last-day duel.

Kim, 21, won the Wyndham Championship and was one of only two rookies to reach the Tour Championship, the other being Grillo, 24, who won the Open last season. Kaufman, 24, won the Shriners Hospitals Open.