Date: December 12, 2007

Flanagan snares top prize

Australian Nick Flanagan has become the first international player in the 18-year history of the Nationwide Tour to win its Player of the Year award. The 23-year-old New South Welshman claimed three victories in only 17 starts in a season that earned him automatic promotion to the US PGA Tour next season. Flanagan, who is playing in this week&aposs Australian Open, finished third on the Nationwide Tour money list with US$369,951. The award was voted by his peers. “It&aposs a great honour to be named Nationwide Player of the Year not to mention having my name announced alongside that of Tiger Woods and Jay Haas,” Flanagan said on the US PGA Tour website. “2007 has been an amazing year, and I am looking forward to 2008 and hopefully working my way into the top 50 in the world.” “I would like to thank everyone involved on the Nationwide Tour – the players who voted for me, the officials and volunteers who work incredibly hard to make the tournaments run so smoothly, the golf courses and sponsors for providing us with the platform to play and the fans who come out and support us from all over America each week.” Tiger Woods was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year, a result which has become a regular annual occurrence. Woods has won the Jack Nicklaus Trophy, the award given to the player of the year as selected by PGA Tour players, each of the last three years and nine times in the last 11 seasons. “To earn the respect of your peers is the highest honour you can receive,” tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. The 31-year-old Woods delivered yet another dominant campaign in 2007, recording seven tour victories and 12 top-10 finishes. He also collected his eighth career Arnold Palmer Award as the tour&aposs leading money winner. The highlight of Woods&apos stellar season came on August 12, when he won the PGA Championship to collect his 13th career major title. He also closed strong by capturing the inaugural FedEx Cup, winning a pair of tour play-off events. Brandt Snedeker was named the tour&aposs Rookie of the Year after recording six top-10 finishes en route to placing 20th on the overall FedEx Cup points list. Steve Stricker was named Comeback Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, finishing second in the FedEx Cup points race while recording nine top-10 finishes.