14 Sep 2022 | Professional golf |

Cam crowned PGA of America Player of the Year

by Australian Golf Media

Cam Smith.

By Tony Webeck

Cameron Smith’s outstanding 2022 season has earned the 29-year-old Queenslander the honour as the PGA of America Player of the Year.

Although he missed out on the member-voted PGA TOUR Player of the Year award, Smith edged world No.1 Scottie Scheffler for the PGA of America award that allocates points based on performances in the year’s biggest events.

It adds to an extraordinary year that will be celebrated on Australian soil in late November when he returns – with the Claret Jug in tow – to tee it up in both the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland Golf Club and ISPS HANDA Australian Open at Victoria and Kingston Heath Golf Clubs in Melbourne.

Although the honour received little publicity when it was announced two weeks ago, Smith joins elite company in claiming the PGA of America’s Player of the Year award.

Greg Norman (1995) is the only Australian to previously win the award and there was no denying Smith’s performances this year.

Beginning with a PGA TOUR scoring record at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Smith shot 66 in the final round to win THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass and then delivered a life-changing eight-under 64 on Sunday at St Andrews to win the 150th Open Championship.

Smith tallied a career-best 96 overall Player of the Year points, just two more than Scheffler (94). Rory McIlroy (62) finished third, US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick (52) finished fourth and Xander Schauffele (47) was fifth.

Smith’s three PGA TOUR wins garnered him 60 Player of the Year points and he received 18 Player of the Year points for finishing second on the season-ending PGA TOUR moneylist based upon money earned at all counting events prior to the 30-player FedEx Cup finale.

He also received 18 points for finishing second in the Vardon Trophy based on the best season-long adjusted scoring average, an award won previously by Norman (1994), Steve Elkington (1995) and Bruce Crampton (1973).

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