Rahm becomes first Spaniard to win PGA of America Player of the Year

Fatiha Betscher

Jon Rahm celebrates his birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

Fatiha Betscher

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No sooner had the PGA Tour announced Jon Rahm as candidate for ‘Golfer of the Year’ and the PGA of America handed their 2020/2021 award to the Spaniard.

Rahm becomes the first Spaniard to win the award and only the eighth non-American since the inaugural 1948 award was handed to Ben Hogan. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington won the 2008 award in the year he captured the PGA Championship and a second Open title, while Rory McIlroy won in 2012 and for a second time in the 2013/14 wraparound season.

The award is determined by a points-based system that factors in tournament wins, official money and scoring average. Rahm, who had been second to Justin Thomas last season, finished with 75 points, five clear of Bryson DeChambeau, during this six-major super season. Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa were third and fourth, respectively.

Though the world number one and double Irish Open winner won just one tournament this past season, there’s no denying it was a big one in capturing a maiden major with his U.S. Open success, which earned him 30 points.

Rahm also split 10 points with Kevin Na for tying for the lowest 72-hole total last week at East Lake. The other 40 points came from Rahm winning the Tour’s money title and finishing with the lowest adjusted scoring average (69.3).

Rahm though is right up against it for PGA Tour ‘Player of the Year’ with five listed for voting by Tour members only.

The nominees include Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa, Harris English and Rahm. South African Garrick Higgo and Will Zalatoris are the nominees for ‘Rookie of the Year’. Voting ends at 5pm Eastern US time Friday.

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