Back9Network Hands Out PGA Tour Season Awards

Unfortunately, the 2013-2014 PGA Tour season has officially come to a close. But fear not, golf fans, the Ryder Cup is soon to begin and shortly after, the 2014-2015 season tees off.

If that’s not enough to get you by, we’ve got you covered with our PGA Tour Season Awards. 

Our editorial staff members put together their thoughts for the season’s award winners and, like any good democracy, there were some differing opinions. For your benefit, we’ve included the discussions.

From the impressive runs by Rory McIlroy and Billy Horschel to the social media efforts of one Jason Dufner, we present to you Back9Network’s 2013-2014 PGA Tour Season Awards:

Rory McIlroy Joins 9 Others With 3 Legs of Career Grand Slam

Player of the Year: Rory McIlroy
There’s really no room for argument here. McIlroy won the most majors, the most money and is the No. 1 player in the world rankings. He tied Jimmy Walker for the most PGA Tour victories (three), but McIlroy’s all came against elite fields. Billy Horschel won the FedExCup, but only because he got hot for three weeks. McIlroy played great golf for more than three months. There’s a reason they’re calling it the Summer of Rory. – Jon Ackerman

Related Link: Take a Look At Rory McIlroy’s Plush Pad

There isn’t a lot of room to argue Rory McIlroy, but do we think Rickie Fowler should at least get a few votes this year? No, he didn’t win a tournament, but his performance alone at the majors — top five in all four — makes him part of the conversation. At a minimum, Rickie is the most improved player this year. – Adam Fonseca

Rory McIlroy is the obvious choice here, and the right one. It’s not player of the month (which Billy Horschel would win); it’s player of the year. And that’s what McIlroy was. – Cameron DaSilva

Yeah, there’s no denying it. Anyone who takes someone other than Rory McIlroy just wasn’t watching. – Matthew Castonguay


Rookie of the Year: Chesson Hadley
There’s really only one route to go here and it’s Chesson Hadley. He’s the only rookie to win a PGA Tour event, taking home the Puerto Rico Open and was one of only two first-year players to reach the FedExCup playoffs. If that wasn’t enough to earn our nod for ROY, he had some fun at his own expense when he sent this tweet in reply to Jimmy Fallon’s PGA Tour Superlatives. – Ben Larsen

Related Link: Emotional Chesson Hadley Reuinites With Dad

Victor Dubuisson is my pick here, simply for his amazing performance early in the year at the Match Play Championship. He put his name on the map for sure. – CD

I’d take Hadley too. The kid can strike it. – JA

Hadley may have collected a win, but it wasn’t in a full FedExCup points paying event. Victor Dubuisson also collected his first career win, albeit on the European Tour, finished runner-up in the WGC-Matchplay and collected top-10 finishes in the season’s last two majors. – MC

Best Shot: Matt Jones, Shell Houston Open
This is always a tough category due to the volume of potential “winners,” but Matt Jones’ final shot on the first playoff hole at this year’s Shell Houston Open was incredible. Not only did the shot give Jones his first career PGA Tour win, but it stamped his ticket to the 2015 Masters as well. – AF

Kenny Perry’s eagle from the waste bunker at the U.S. Open was incredible, and my pick for shot of the year. – CD

McIlroy doesn’t win the PGA Championship without this approach shot on No. 10. – JA

Those shots were great, but how about Horschel’s save for par on No. 16 Sunday at the Tour Championship? There was only $10 million up for grabs. – BL

Rory McIlroy anchor

Best Moment: Rory McIlroy Wins BMW PGA Championship
Just days after breaking up with fiancée Caroline Wozniacki, McIlroy played through the emotional pain and won the BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event of the European Tour. It was the first of what would be four wins in 2014. Everyone knows how hard it is to function after a difficult breakup, but McIlroy seemed to use it as fuel, effectively turning his season around. – MC

Related Link: Rory McIlroy Interviews While Driving BMW i8 Hybrid

I’d like to change this “award” to moments instead, and nominate Phil Mickelson’s two shots from the same hospitality tent. They were insane, but, I guess that’s typical Phil. – CD

I like Horschel winning the FedExCup. He made more money in three weeks than he had his whole life, all while knowing he was about to become a dad. – JA

“Best” is in the eye of the beholder. I think it was the twilight 18th at Valhalla on Sunday at the PGA Championship. Three of the game’s biggest stars trying to get in their 72 holes before dark … it was messy but great theater. – BL


Biggest Surprise: Billy Horschel
He wasn’t on anyone’s radar prior to the FedExCup playoffs, which is exactly why he’s the biggest surprise. Horschel only had five top-10 finishes before the playoffs began, but he finished off the year with back-to-back wins. Not only did he redeem himself from the 72nd hole collapse in what very well could have been his first playoff victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship, but he put his name on the map for a guy to watch next season. And the proof is in the pudding. His odds to win the 2015 Masters back on Aug. 12 were 150-1. Now, they’re 66-1. I rest my case. – CD

Related Links: 9 Things $13 Million Could Buy | Exclusive: FedExCup Champ “On Cloud Nine”

Horschel’s the logical pick, but Fowler surprised me the most. One top-five finish at a major in six years, then four in one season?! – JA

You guys are missing the other side of the discussion. After the year he had in 2013, nobody thought McIlroy would do what he did this season. He seemed to be another year away from getting back to his potentially-legendary pace but, wow he had himself a year. – BL

Best Dressed: Tim Herron
Rather than go with the easy pick here, which is obviously Adam Scott for his classic look, I’m going to give this honor to Tim Herron. Tim Herron? Yes, Tim Herron. Why? Well, because of this terrific script he laid out for Masters week. You see, Herron wasn’t in the field but followed his fellow tour players by letting everyone know he’d be wearing an assortment of sweatpants, robes and – of course – a Guinness tank top throughout the weekend. – BL

Related Link: Tim Herron’s Masters Scripting Is Hilarious


Billy Horschel is absolutely the best dressed with his camo frog pants and stylish RLX gear each week. Hands down. – CD

Herron??? Well played. – JA

If you’re not going John Daly, you have to go Billy Horschel. Period. – MC

Best Social Media User: Jason Dufner
Among all the Twits and Facebookers on the PGA Tour, nobody does it better than Jason Dufner. He’s engaging, hilarious, concise, and not afraid to give his fans an inside look at his life and the things he loves. Including getting drunk on a boat with his wife and friends. – AF

Related Links: Dufner’s Bizarre Photoshoot Starts Internet Craze | 9 Questions With Jason Dufner


Ian Poulter gets the nod here. From his witty responses to envious fans on Twitter to photos of his insane car collection, Poulter wins. – CD

I do enjoy the Duf Daddy, but I’d go with Ian Poulter for all the good and bad reasons. He gives tickets away via Twitter, and responds to the “trolls” who ill-advisedly try to bash him. – JA

I have to agree with Jason Dufner here. I love Ian Poulter, but he’s the same guy everywhere, all the time. Dufner really seems to let his hair down on Twitter. He’s sneakily the funniest guy on tour in my opinion. – MC

Best Significant Other: Brittany Horschel
The award for Best Significant Other has to go to Brittany Horschel. On the verge of giving birth to the couple’s first child, Brittany gave Billy her blessing to play golf. Granted, it wasn’t playing golf like you or I would. Billy was trying to win $10 million and the FedExCup – which he eventually did. Two days later, Brittany gave birth to their daughter, Skylar Lillian Horschel. It’s hard to imagine winning $10 million and then three days later having the greatest day of your life – but that’s what happened to Billy Horschel. And it’s all thanks to Brittany. – MC

Related Link: 7 Outrageous Things $10 Million Could Buy For Billy Horschel’s Daughter

Brittany Horschel

Agreed. Letting her husband play for $10 million to miss the birth of his child makes her the victor in this category. – CD

I completely agree with Brittany Horschel. “Billy, go make us $10 million so I never have to work again.” – JA

Ten million and a new baby are good but may I present Exhibit A? Amanda Dufner’s Instagram. – BL

Best Commercial: Mike’s Golf Shop
Obviously Mike’s Golf Shop wins the best golf commercial of the year. It may not have had the star power of Omega’s “Hall of Fame” commercial with Rory McIlroy, but I’d argue Mike is a star in the making. And he’s got the accolades to back it up: a spot on Tosh.O, 545,000-plus views on YouTube and even a re-mix. Not even the No. 1 player in the world can top that. Mike may be limited to “buying golf,” but his voice is mesmerizing. “WE BUY GOLF! WE BUY GOLF CLUBS! WE BUY GOLF CLUBS!” – CD

Related Link: Mike’s Golf Shop Is No One-Hit Wonder

“STANDING IN THE HALL OF FAME” — only because I still can’t get that song out of my head. – JA

“Mike’s Golf Shop”all day, every day. Did you hear? They buy golf! – BL

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