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Singh ends Woods' five-year POY reign

12/6/2004 - Vijay Singh

NEW YORK -- Vijay Singh won the PGA Tour Player of the Year
award Monday for the first time, ending Tiger Woods' five-year hold
on the honor with a season that left no debate about who was No. 1
in golf.

Singh captured the PGA Championship among his nine victories and
became the first player to surpass $10 million in one season. No
one else won more than three times, and his earnings were nearly
twice as much as Ernie Els'.
Singh earlier won the PGA of America Player of the Year, which
is determined by points. He also captured his first Vardon Trophy
for having the lowest scoring average, and his second straight
money title.
The PGA Tour award is determined by a vote of the players. Singh
thought he should have won it last year, when he won four times and
was No. 1 on the money list. Woods, who had five victories last
year, won the award by a close vote.
That motivated Singh to work harder than ever, and it paid off
beyond his wildest dreams.
"My thought this year was to play hard and play good for the
whole season," Singh said. "That was a fulfilling thing. I didn't
have to wait for the votes."
The tour does not release the votes.
Singh won six of his last nine tournaments, including the PGA
Championship for his third major. Perhaps the most important
victory was the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, where
the Fijian beat Woods in a final-round duel to become No. 1 in the
world ranking.
Singh is the first non-American player to win the award since
Greg Norman in 1995.
British Open champion Todd Hamilton was voted PGA Tour Rookie of
the Year. Hamilton, 39, who spent a dozen years on the Asian tours
until earning his PGA Tour card, won the Honda Classic with a
birdie-birdie finish, then beat Els in a four-hole playoff at Royal
Troon.
John Daly, whose victory at the Buick Invitational was his first
on U.S. soil in 10 years, was voted PGA Tour Comeback Player of the
Year.
Craig Stadler was Champions Tour Player of the Year, while Mark
McNulty was the Champions Rookie of the Year, and Hubert Green was
the Comeback Player of the Year after returning from cancer.
Jimmy Walker was Nationwide Tour Player of the Year.