PGA Tour Attempting to Rig the Player of the Year Voting?

Immer Chriswell@@immerrangeCorrespondent IOctober 28, 2011

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - OCTOBER 23:  In this handout image provided by Disney Parks, Luke Donald, winner of the 2011 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, poses on October 23, 2011 with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck following his win at Disney's Magnolia Golf Course.  Donald, the world's top-ranked player, shot a -17 for the tournament to win the 41st annual PGA TOUR event at Walt Disney World.  He shot six straight birdies Sunday to come from five shots behind and capture the tournament title. The season finale win also secured Donald the PGA TOUR money title for 2011. (Photo by Preston Mack/Disney Parks via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

The PGA Tour season is officially closed as far as earnings go, and Luke Donald is the money champion. He should also be voted Player of the Year by now, but it appears that there is a conspiracy in the golf world in the biggest way possible.

In one of the most blatant acts of disrespect toward what was clearly the best year-round performance of the 2011 PGA Tour season, the vote has been stayed until the completion of the HSBC WGC event.

In a way it makes sense to include a WGC in the voting, however the vote has never been extended for any reason.

So why now?

The PGA Tour wants an American to win. With Webb Simpson's season, some argue that he deserves the honors. Others are crazy enough to believe that Keegan Bradley should be player of the year.

Let's take a look. Playing less events and making less total cuts, Luke Donald had more top 10s and earned more money than Webb Simpson. Not to mention that Donald won the last event, playing all four rounds with Simpson, knowing he needed a solo second or better finish to win the money title for the season.

Where in there is Webb Simpson the better player?

And how does Keegan Bradley factor in? According to people like John Feinstein, winning a major and one other event justifies him being the best player this year (for Feinstein, it makes him one of the best in the world).

However, Bradley had only two more top 10s, missed 10 cuts and had 12 top 25s out of 28 events entered. Luke Donald has 14 top 10s. Not even a question.

So why is the PGA Tour embarrassing itself? 

Apparently they have some crazed hope that if Bradley, Simpson or a few other names were to win that they could get an American to win the title, putting American golf back in the forefront.

By far, this is the dumbest, most ignorant move the Tour could have made. Donald doesn't have to play in the US. He plays here because he enjoys it. He's also leading the European money list this season. By no means does he need to play both tours, especially if one tour doesn't like him as the face of it.

What the PGA Tour has done is beyond bold, and a borderline PR disaster should Luke Donald lose over this. 

However, the players have the final say. That's where they need to stand together against this and vote for who they believe was the Player of the Year after Disney.

Regardless of who it is, it's only fair. The PGA Tour should not be able to arbitrarily alter the deadline to favor other golfers mid-season. This is an issue to be changed for next year.

Luke Donald is the Player of the Year no matter who receives the most votes. Hopefully his name is engraved in the trophy at the end of this, because anything less would be a disaster for the PGA Tour.