We’re a little late starting the Jazzy Awards – that’s short for Jay’s Golf Awards – but we’re early on the ski slopes…so we’ve got that going for us.
As always, in the name of journalistic purity, we publish our Player of the Year Award in this column. This year we voted for Francesco Molinari.
“What???” you shriek. “You DIDN’T vote for Brooks Koepka?! But he won two majors!”
Yes, he did, but Molinari won the Open Championship – the de facto World Championship – and went a perfect 5-0-0 at the Ryder Cup on the way to shredding the Americans 17.5 to 10.5. To me, that counts as two majors.
That 5-0-0 wasn’t just perfect, it was record setting. Three of his wins were by a whopping 5&4 wins, the other two no closer than the 4&2 Mickelson got shellacked by in singles.
Plus, Francesco didn’t have the ugliness of a snarling dust-up on the plane over to the Ryder Cup, (nice way to start the week and represent your country), nor did he try to have Alan Shipnuck banned form the Champions interview on Sunday for the unpardonable crime of…you know…doing his job well as a writer!
So there’s that,
That’s not to say I decided against Koepka for something he did against the media: not at all. It’s more that both behaviors are the complete anti-thesis of things champions do and how true sportsmen behave. I care that he did violence to the ethos of golf and acted selfishly while representing the flag.
They also didn’t tip the balance for me, just ran up the score a bit. Voting solely based on their golf, I still pick Molinari, but the spats turn what was – metaphorically speaking – a 51-49 loss for Koepka into 53-47 one.
Francesco is world champion this year.
Francesco carved up the Americans like Hannibal Lector, and served them up Bolognese style, over cappellini, with a side of long hots and fried calamari.
Francesco was graceful and classy in doing all that. Forza, Italia. Sempre.
MY PAST VOTES IN THIS COLUMN
2017 Justin Thomas
2016 Henrik Stenson
2015 Jordan Spieth
2014 Rory McIlroy
2013 Adam Scott
2012 Rory McIlroy
2011 Webb Simpson
2010 Graeme McDowell
2009 Geoff Ogilvy
2008 Padraig Harrington
2007 Zach Johnson