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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods, who won five tournaments this season and has returned to No. 1 in the world ranking, was voted PGA Tour player of the year.

It was the third time Woods, 37, got the Jack Nicklaus Award despite not winning a major tournament. His victories included two World Golf Championships events and The Players Championship.

No one else won more than twice this year, and Woods earned his ninth Vardon Trophy for lowest adjusted scoring average (68.985) and took the PGA Tour money title ($8,553,439).

“It’s been an incredible year to have won five times, two of those World Golf Championships and one Players,” Woods said on a conference call Friday. “It’s been just a fantastic year all around. It’s also an incredible feeling to be voted by your peers, and to have that type of respect is something that’s very humbling.”

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PGA Tour officials do not release voting totals or reveal who finished second.

Jordan Spieth, a 20-year-old Texan, was voted rookie of the year in a race that likely was no contest.

The Jack Nicklaus Award began in 1990. In 24 years, two players other than Woods have won it multiple times — Seattle native Fred Couples (in 1991 and ’92) and Nick Price (1993, ’94).

Woods said winning the award doesn’t get old.

“I know how hard it is,” he said. “I’ve had to work my way back from injuries on numerous occasions throughout the years. These last couple years is no exception to that. There were a lot of people saying I could never win again, and two years later I’ve got eight wins on our Tour. I’m very proud of where I’ve come from, from being ranked outside the top 50 to being ranked where I am now, and to have had the success that I’ve had this year just makes it all the more rewarding.”


Andrew Putnam of University Place is making a serious bid to join his older brother, Michael, on the PGA Tour next season. Michael, 30, secured his PGA Tour card last month by finishing first on the Tour regular-season money list.

Andrew, 24, is tied for fifth place after two rounds of the Tour Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. There will be 25 cards handed out after Sunday’s final round, and Andrew was projected to finish 21st in the ranking after Friday’s play.

Chesson Hadley, at 9-under 131, leads second-place Joe Durant by two strokes.

• German Bernhard Langer fired a 9-under 63 to build a four-shot lead after the opening round of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in California.

Defending champion Kirk Triplett, a Pullman High School graduate, was among five players who shot a 67 in the event on the 50-and-older Champions Tour. Couples (68) was tied for seventh.

• American Peter Uihlein missed shooting the first 59 on the European Tour by about 3 inches, as his 25-foot eagle putt on his last hole was barely wide at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Uihlein is two strokes behind leader Tom Lewis after two rounds.

Rory McIlroy, ranked No. 6 in the world, said he has ended his contract with one management company, Horizon, and is starting his own, Rory McIlroy Inc.

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