Finally, a race for player of the year


SANDWICH (England): Tiger Woods returned to the top of the PGA Tour money list for the first time since April with his tie for fourth in the British Open. He has the lowest scoring average on tour, and more victories than anyone. 

What he doesn't have is a lock on player of the year. 

For the first time in four years, golf heads into the stretch run with the Jack Nicklaus Award – best on tour as voted by the players – up for grabs. 

Woods has everything in his corner except a major, and the PGA Championship next month at Oak Hill is his last chance to win a Grand Slam event for the fifth straight year. 

If he doesn't, it will be interesting to see how the players vote. 

Greg Norman in 1995 is the last guy to be voted PGA Tour player of the year without having won a major that season.  

If Mike Weir (Masters), Jim Furyk (U.S. Open) or Ben Curtis (British Open) win at Oak Hill, that would make them the leading candidate. If Woods wins, he likely will be the favorite because of his four other PGA Tour victories and otherwise dominance. 

And if it's someone else, the race could go down to the wire. 

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