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Jim Furyk & Matt Kuchar win PGA awards
November 16, 2010

Jim Furyk and fellow American Matt Kuchar made the most of a forgettable year for Tiger Woods by landing the leading honours after the 2010 PGA Tour ended with the Disney Classic at the weekend.

Rock-steady Furyk triumphed three times during the season to earn his first PGA Player of the Year award while Kuchar headed the official money list and also the scoring averages.

Kuchar was a model of consistency, recording 11 top-10 finishes in 26 starts to end his campaign with overall earnings of $4,910,477 and an adjusted scoring average of 69.61.

“For me to go from a guy that just wanted to keep his card a few years ago, to winning the Byron Nelson and Arnold Palmer Awards … is pretty overwhelming,” Kuchar said in a statement.

“It will be tough to follow this year up. You can go out and shoot a 62 but it’s hard to follow up that 62 the next day with another great round. That’s how I’m looking at next year. It will be quite a challenge.”

Kuchar clinched the third PGA Tour title of his career at the lucrative Barclays playoff event in August on the way to securing the Arnold Palmer Award for topping the money list.

He also edged out compatriot Steve Stricker in the race for the Byron Nelson Award for low adjusted scoring average. Stricker was just .05 higher with an average of 69.66.

Each of Kuchar’s awards had been earned by Woods in 2009 before the former world number one’s life unravelled amid allegations of serial philandering.

Woods took a self-imposed exile of five months from the game but, with his marriage breaking up, struggled for form on the course before ending the year without a single title for the first time since he turned professional in 1996.

The 14-times major champion played only 12 events this season before ending up 68th in the money list with earnings of $1,294,765, the second time he has been outside the top four.

Like Kuchar, Furyk took advantage of Woods’s woes as he won the prestigious PGA Player of the Year award after the first ‘three-win’ season of his career.

One of the steadiest players in the game despite his unorthodox and looping swing, Furyk claimed his third victory of 2010 at the Tour Championship in September when he also landed FedExCup honours and the $10 million bonus.

“A special moment and a special year,” said Furyk, who ended his season with earnings of $4,809,622. “I’ve never had a three-win season before.”

This is only the third time in 12 years that Woods has not landed PGA Player of the Year honours.

First won by Ben Hogan in 1948, the award is given by the PGA of America to the top PGA Tour player based on a points system for tournament wins, official money standings and scoring averages.

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