Singh locks up first money title
HOUSTON -- Tiger Woods won the PGA of America Player of the Year award for a record fifth consecutive year, and became the first player to win the Vardon Trophy five straight times for having the lowest adjusted scoring average.
Vijay Singh won his first PGA Tour money title, ending Woods' four-year run, with the second-highest total in history at just over $7.5 million.
Those were the only awards decided after the Tour Championship, the final tournament of the PGA Tour season.
Left undecided was the PGA Tour Player of the Year, a vote of the players that likely will come down to Woods, Singh and Masters champion Mike Weir.
''The point system is obviously non-biased,'' Woods said. ''But it's also great to get the respect of your peers. Ultimately, that's probably the biggest compliment you can get.''
Woods now is tied with Tom Watson at six PGA of America Player of the Year awards. It is based on points for victories, and a sliding scale for position on the money list and the Vardon Trophy standings.
Woods won five times and finished second on the money list, giving him 88 points. Singh and Weir tied for second at 78 points.
Woods won the Vardon Trophy with an adjusted scoring average of 68.41, the second-lowest average in PGA Tour history behind his 67.79 average in 2000.
Singh was second at 68.65.
Woods is tied with Lee Trevino and Billy Casper for most Vardon Trophy awards.
Singh only needed to finish in a three-way tie for third to capture the money title, but only if Woods won the Tour Championship.
Singh closed with a 68 and tied for fifth, while Woods finished 26th and was never a factor. The 40-year-old Fijian, who played in nine more tournaments, finished $900,000 ahead of Woods on the money list.
Woods holds the PGA Tour record with $9.1 million in 2000.
''It's probably the biggest accomplishment that I've had in my career, especially at my age,'' Singh said. ''As the year got long and I started playing better and better, that was my goal. And I've accomplished that.''
Two other awards to be decided by a vote are the PGA Tour comeback player of the year, and the PGA Tour rookie of the year.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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