BOSTON, Mass – It was a year when the world pressed pause for a pandemic and professional golf, despite cancellations, shortened seasons and schedule changes pressed on.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, whose four wins in 2020 were highlighted by an emotional five-shot triumph at the Masters, earned his second Golf Writers Association of America’s Player of the Year Award, while Bernhard Langer picked up his sixth honor as Senior Player Year and Sei Young Kim won her first Female Player of the Year Award.
Johnson dominated his category, collecting 93.6 percent of the votes. He missed several weeks in the fall after being diagnosed with COVID, but came back from that to finish second at the Houston Open and follow that with his Masters win.
In addition, he went on a run starting in June when he won the Travelers Championship, then finished tied for second at the PGA, won the Northern Trust by 11 strokes, finished second at the BMW Championship and won the TOUR Championship. He won his first FedEx Cup and had eight top 3 finishes
“It’s a great honor to again be voted as the Golf Writers Association Player of the Year,’’ said Johnson. “I appreciate my many friends in the media and their recognition of my performance. This means a lot to me.”
Kim, who won twice, dominated the Female POY balloting, collecting 69 percent of the votes. Danielle Kang was a distant second. Kim won her first major with a five-shot victory at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, then backed it up in her next start with a win at the Pelican Women’s Championship. She won LPGA POY honors with six top-10s in nine starts.
“I am very pleased and honored to receive such an important award,” Kim said. “It is an amazing feeling to get recognized for my efforts and dedication. This is a true booster encouraging me to continue my hard work. I am also very appreciative of the GWAA tremendous work for the sport of golf.”
Langer, the two-time Masters champion, continued to set the bar on the Champions Tour. The 63-year-old had one win, a dozen top-10 finishes in 15 starts and topped the money list to edge Ernie Els for the Senior POY honor. Langer got 41 percent of the vote to 35.6 percent for Els.
Langer, who became the oldest player to make the cut at the Master, won the Cologard Classic.
“It is a great honor and wonderful recognition to have been named the GWAA Senior Player of the Year 2020,’’ Langer said. “When experts of the trade/game, like the Golf Writers, vote for you, it means so much more and I am thrilled to receive this special reward again.”
Players of the Year are traditionally honored at the annual GWAA Awards Dinner in April in Augusta, but the 2021 event has been cancelled due to the pandemic. The three players will receive their awards later this year.