Should the Race to Dubai standings decide the end of season awards?

The Scoop

Alex Perry and Mark Townsend lock horns in the latest Alternate Shot

Many were up in arms that Jon Rahm was among the European Tour awards for 2017 despite only playing 12 times on this side of the Atlantic. Rahm’s fellow rookies Dylan Fritelli and Jordan Smith, they argue, played 29 and 31 respectively.

So should the European Tour awards like the Player and Rookie of the Year be based on the final Race to Dubai standings? Or should they be taken to a vote? Two of our writes argue their cases in Alternate Shot.

Yes, says Alex Perry

Rahm was named the European Tour Rookie of the Year, and it caused a lot of commotion. I made my feelings on the matter clear in last week’s episode of The Slam, but in a nutshell: Why argue about something that’s based on statistics?

He is the European Tour rookie who has earned the most money this year. He is the European Tour rookie who finished highest in the Race to Dubai this year. After his win in Dubai, he is now the World No. 4.

Almost 8 billion people on this planet and only three are better golfers than Rahm. In his debut season on Tour. That is ridiculous. How anyone can argue against him being the Rookie of the Year is beyond me.

I am taking nothing away from the likes of Dylan Fritelli and Jordan Smith, who had wonderful debut seasons, but if the European Tour want to award players who have done well but aren’t statistically the best then they need to find a new award for that.

Why would the Tour set itself up like that? If the Player and Rookie of the Year awards were based on a vote, everyone who didn’t get their way would be up in arms and the European Tour would be left getting non-stop grief.

You can’t argue with statistics. They are the best way to decide the recipient of an award. And that’s why it will always be the best way to decide something.

No, says Mark Townsend

Here’s a thought: You could win the PGA Championship (the American one), miss the cut in all your other ‘European Tour’ starts and still win the Rookie of the Year award.

You might well argue that by becoming a major champion then you deserve the newcomer gong, and you might well be right, but it also illustrates quite how weighted golf is.

I’ve got no truck (I love that word) with Rahm winning this, he might well turn out to be one of Europe’s best ever. I just find golf’s awards so obvious and unimaginative. Player wins award, player or player’s manager puts forward some dreary quotes and then Keith Pelley add his thoughts on the matter. If we’re particularly unlucky we might even get a word from a sponsor.

When the golfing year is done there are so many opportunities and different ways to celebrate the many heroics of the past 12 months. How hard would it be to add a Players’ Player of The Year and throw in some slightly imaginative categories, all voted for by the players? Best Win, Best Round, Best Comeback, Best Tournament, Best Course, Best/Worse Dressed, Best Tweeter etc.

There will be better ideas.

The European Tour’s almost weekly videos with the players are so entertaining that the reach to the wider world is a tremendous boost to the game, it’s just a shame that we don’t celebrate the players’ achievements on the course properly.

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