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2016/17 Player of the Year Awards

With the 2016/17 season in the rearview mirror, this week will see the announcement of both the Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour.

Both awards will be announced later this week after voting closes on Monday, with the votes cast by PGA Tour members who played in at least 15 money events during the 2016/17 season.

2016/17 PGA Player of the Year

The title of this year's Player of the Year seems all sewn up and very few would argue against the idea of Justin Thomas being crowned as the season's best golfer.

The current world number four has enjoyed a real breakout campaign and collected five tournament wins along way. These included an excellent maiden major win - the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in August - as well as the Dell Technologies Championship FedEx Cup Playoff event and, following on from that, the FedEx Cup itself.

Catch JT's highlights from Quail Hollow below:

It isn't always the case that the season-long FedEx Cup points race is won by the most 'deserving' golfer in any given year; this time around though it most certainly was.

The alternative?

The only seemingly viable alternative would be Justin's great friend Jordan Spieth. The young Texan has enjoyed an impressive season winning three times on Tour while picking up a first Claret Jug and, with it, the third leg of a career grand slam.

If the current Champion Golfer of the Year does capture an award so regularly bestowed upon the great Tiger Woods, he will become only the second dual winner since the great man's last (and eleventh) seasonal accolade. Rory McIlroy is currently the only man in the 'post-Tiger' era to have secured two Player of the Year titles.

Could we see a surprise?

Perhaps a yardstick for measuring both Thomas' and Spieth's chances of winning the Player of the Year title for 2016/17 season would be a consideration of whether either would be in the reckoning for the accolade without having picked up a major this season.

For Thomas, it seems quite clear that with four other Tour wins including the SBS Tournament of Champions, as well as a FedEx Cup Playoff event just last month, he would still have been a strong contender. Spieth, on the other hand, has endured some troubling periods this season and has freely admitted that a win at Royal Birkdale back in August turned an average year into one he can proudly look back on.

To be honest, suggesting this is anywhere close to a head-to-head is for nothing other than dramatic effect. Thomas will be Player of the Year, and there couldn't be a more deserving recipient.

2016/17 Rookie of the Year

It is quite hard to argue that this award is a more competitive affair than the 2016/17 Player of the Year vote as the standout rookie candidate is the man who walked away with the Tour Championship title just two weeks ago, Xander Schauffele.

As with Thomas, were it not for such a season-defining win he would still have been a strong contender due to a win back in July at the Greenbrier Classic - not to mention several other solid performances which belied his inexperience on Tour.

Catch highlights of Xander's win at East Lake below:

The alternative?

Wesley Bryan is another rookie who managed to pick up a win in his first season on Tour.

Plenty of intrigue surrounded the YouTube star's rise to prominence in the professional game, and a win during April's RBC Heritage event in South Carolina - his hometown - pointed towards a healthy future on the PGA Tour for the rookie.

There could be plenty more to come from Bryan, but it does seem a long shot that any of the other contenders could stop Schauffele from taking the Rookie of the Year title for 2016/17.

Are the season-ending awards as cut-and-dried as they seem? Are there any other contenders we haven't considered? Who could shine in 17/18? Let us know below.


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