The 2013 golf season is in full maturity. While there are still two months to go and one more major championship to play, we know this has been a brilliant year for Phil Mickelson and a disastrous one for Rory McIlroy.
With two weeks to go prior to the PGA Championship, here's our ranking of the top contenders for the 2013 Player of the Year honors.
(Earnings figures are courtesy of PGATour.com.)
Money Earned: $3,060,043
2013 Accomplishment: Horschel has made the cut in 18 of 20 events and has seven top-10 finishes.
What He Needs to Do to Become POY: It's going to be difficult for Horschel to overcome top candidates like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson for the honors. However, if Horschel can win one or two events prior to the end of the year, he should receive serious consideration.
Money Earned: $2,668,138
2013 Accomplishment: Day has made the cut in all 15 PGA events he has entered this year. He has been exceptional in the majors with a third-place finish in the Masters and a second-place showing in the U.S. Open.
What He Needs to Do to Become POY: If Day can win one tournament before the end of the year and record another top-10 showing in the PGA Championship, he will be able to get in the discussion. Still, it will be tough for him to overcome the biggest names.
Money Earned: $2,799,847
2013 Accomplishment: Winning the Masters in a playoff with Angel Cabrera has been the highlight of his season. He also has four top-10 finishes in the 10 PGA events he has entered.
What He Needs to Do to Become POY: If he can win a second major, that would probably clinch it for the improving Scott. Barring that, he could throw himself into serious contention by winning one of the FedEx Cup playoff tournaments at the end of the year.
Money Earned: $3,032,310
2013 Accomplishment: Rose won the U.S. Open when he fired a final round of 70 to shoot a one-over-par 281 to win the first major championship of his career.
What He Needs to Do to Become POY: Rose showed his toughness in playing consistently for four rounds at the U.S. Open and outlasting the field. If Rose can come up with a top-10 finish in the PGA Championship and win a FedEx playoff tournament, he will have a legitimate shot at winning the POY honors.
Money Earned: $4,857,908
2013 Accomplishment: Kuchar has been as good as anyone on the PGA Tour this year. Kuchar has won two tournaments and has been in the top 10 seven times.
What He Needs to Do to Become POY: Kuchar's consistency allows him to contend nearly every week. However, you would like to see Kuchar dial up the intensity and get a little tougher in the major events. Kuchar finished tied for eighth in the Masters, but he failed to crack the top 10 in either the U.S. Open or the British Open. He needs to make a better showing and not capitulate in the PGA Championship.
Money Earned: $4,829,911
2013 Accomplishment: Early in the season, Snedeker finished second, second and first in consecutive tournaments. Snedeker had a third-place finish, two seconds and a first in his first five tournaments of the year.
What He Needs to Do to Become POY: Snedeker has been one of the best golfers all year, and his victory in the RBC Canadian Open was his second triumph of the year. Snedeker will have an excellent shot at player of the year with a win at the PGA Championship. Barring that, a strong showing in the FedEx Cup playoffs will make him a top contender.
Money Earned: $6,159,119
2013 Accomplishment: Woods has won four PGA tournaments this year, and that's more than any other golfer on the tour this year.
What He Needs to Do to Become POY: Even without a major victory to his credit, Tiger was probably the No. 1 contender for the honors until Phil Mickelson won the British Open. If Tiger wants to take that honor from Mickelson, he must win the PGA or the FedEx Cup playoffs at the end of the year. He should have an excellent chance to accomplish one or both of those goals.
Money Earned: $4,860,810
2013 Accomplishment: Mickelson fired a 66 in the final round of the British Open to take the claret jug with one of the best clutch performances in recent memory. Mickelson has won three of the four major championships during his long and superb career.
What He Needs to Do to Become POY: If Tiger Woods wins the PGA Championship, it would be difficult for Mickelson to come up with the honor. The same holds if Adam Scott or Justin Rose wins a second major championship. Otherwise, Mickelson is the front-runner.