US Masters champion Adam Scott has edged out Tiger Woods to win the prestigious player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America.
Scott last year won four times around the world, his victories highlighted by his breakthrough success at Augusta, where he became the first Australian to don a green jacket.
He also won a FedEx Cup play-off event and twice in Australia, while teaming up with Jason Day to win the World Cup for Australia at Royal Melbourne.
"It is an honour to be recognised as the most consistent male golfer of 2013 and it is appreciated to have the respect of the Golf Writers of America. Thank you," Scott said from Kapalua, where he was competing in the 30-man Tournament of Champions.
Woods, his only other realistic competitor for the title, won five times on the US tour, including The Players Championship and two World Golf Championships, but for the fifth straight year he failed to take home a major. Woods also won the tour money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average.
Woods also collected player of the year from the US PGA Tour (a vote of players) and PGA of America (based on points).
In the other GWAA awards there was no room for debate.
Inbee Park, who had three straight majors among her six victories on the US LPGA Tour, received 91 per cent of the vote to win female player of the year. Women’s British Open champion Stacy Lewis and Evian Championship winner Suzann Pettersen received the other votes.
Park rose to No.1 in the women’s world ranking shortly after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She won the LPGA Championship, and made it three straight majors at the US Women’s Open. She led women’s golf with six victories and captured the US LPGA Tour money title for the second straight year.
"Last year was a year that I could never forget," Park said. "I was able to put my name among the greatest players around the world. Now, on top of that, I am being recognised and honoured by golf writers. They are those who know what has just happened last year in every detail. I can almost say that they know me better than I know myself. That’s why this honour is very special and means a lot to me."
Kenny Perry, who won two majors on the Champions Tour and captured the Schwab Cup, also had 91 per cent of the vote for senior player of the year over Bernhard Langer and David Frost.
Meanwhile, Scott’s 2014 focus is on the grand slams.
"My goal is to win majors – and now I can say ‘majors’ and not just one," Scott said. "I think I’m heading in the right direction. I don’t want to change too much from last year."
The Queenslander had only a brief break after his runner-up finish to Rory McIlroy in the Australian Open. He put the clubs away for 10 days and began serious practice last week.
But after two weeks in Hawaii, he plans a six-week hiatus until the Honda Classic in Florida swing.
The desire to keep improving was obvious though, with Scott as determined to win in his gruelling schedule at home late last year as he was back in April.
"After such a big high in April (I did not want) to not live off winning the Masters for the rest of the year, or the rest of your life.
"To keep pushing and keep my golf advancing. By the end of the year, I took my game that tiny, half-step further from where I was when I won a major. It’s just getting a little bit better, which is important if I want to achieve everything I ever wanted."
The No.1 spot is also a possibility, although not one he is obsessing about. Woods has an average ranking of 11.69, while Scott is at 9.60.
"No 1 is a hard spot to get to," he said. "Maybe if I play like I have for another 12 months, I might sneak in there. But it’s not something I can focus on."
By: Robert Grant