Jim Furyk: Despite a Bad Summer, Is Fed Ex Cup Winner the Player of the Year?

Ron FurlongAnalyst IISeptember 26, 2010

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Jim Furyk hits his tee shot on the eighth hole during the first round of THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Is this what we're left with? Jim Furyk as the player of the year? Isn't it bad enough he just walked away with the Fed Ex Cup and its $10 million prize after winning the Tour Championship, but we're also now going to call him player of the year?

Of course he hasn't won the trophy just yet, but you get the feeling he may have sewn it up with his one-shot victory Sunday at the Tour Championship.

There should be some minimum requirement to the win the award. Like, you can't be ordinary for four months of the year. Or, you have to finish in the top 10 more than six times in 20 tournaments. Or, you can't miss three cuts, especially when two of them come in majors (the Masters and the British Open).

From The Players Championship on May 9 through the Deutsche Bank Championship on Sept. 6, a four-month stretch, Furyk had these finishes: 47th, missed cut, 10th, 16th, 33rd, missed cut, 9th, 6th, 24th, and 37th. Not exactly "player of the year" numbers.

Sure, Furyk was given the proverbial shaft when his alarm didn't go off and he was disqualified from the Barclays tournament, the first leg of the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs. Furyk arrived at the tee for the pro-am five minutes late. The PGA has since changed the rule.

So he gets a couple points for sympathy there, but does that equate to him being the best player of the year?

Of course, this is the first year in a long time that there is no real deserving winner of the award. No one on tour won more than three times (granted, it was Furyk). With Tiger Woods temporarily down and out, no one stepped up like Paddy Harrington did when Woods was inured in 2008 and took the year by the throat.

Several guys tried for different periods of the year. Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, and even Ernie Els had stretches in the year when we thought they might pull away from the pack. They all failed to. And to add insult to injury, none of the four players who won the majors this year (Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen or Martin Kaymer) were even in the discussion.

So, what we're left with is rewarding the guy who won at the right time (the Tour Championship) and because he had two wins earlier in the year? That's the best we can do?

Maybe. He may not win. Of course, this has not been determined yet. There is still one big tournament to be played in 2010, the World Golf Championships in China in late October.

The fact is, whoever wins the award (or awards, as player of the year trophies are handed out both by the PGA Tour and by the PGA of America, although the same player almost always wins both), it is going to be a controversial winner.

If it is Furyk or Kuchar or Stricker or Casey, it doesn't matter. The fact is, no one had a great year from start to finish. Certainly not Jim Furyk. Yet, in the end, it may very well be Furyk's name that gets called.

In a year Tiger Woods struggled to find his form and regain his game, nobody answered the bell. Will Jim Furyk get rewarded for stumbling the least?