Scottie Scheffler, Lydia Ko and Steven Alker named 2022 Players of the Year by Golf Writers Association of America

Scottie Scheffler, Lydia Ko and Steven Alker have been voted 2022 Players of the Year in their respective divisions by members of the Golf Writers Association of America. Ko, 25, is the only player among the three who is a previous winner, having claimed the award in 2015. All three players will be honored at the 49th annual ISPS Handa/GWAA Awards Dinner on April 5 in Augusta, Georgia, during Masters Tournament week.

Scheffler, 26, earned 49.2 percent of first-place votes, winning over Rory McIlroy, a three-time winner, and Cameron Smith, whose victories included the Open Championship and The Players.

Scheffler claimed his first PGA Tour victory in February at the WM Phoenix Open and added victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (where he ascended to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking) and in April, won his first major championship at the Masters. He finished second to McIlroy in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

“It was a great year. I’m very pleased with how the year went,” Scheffler said in a release. “To win an award like that, to be recognized as the best player for the year, is really special, and something I’ll look back on in my career.”

Ko won three times last season including her first victory on South Korean soil and a record-setting first-place check at the CME Group Tour Championship. She won the Rolex Player of the Year race, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average (68.99) and the money title.

The newlywed earned 79.5 percent of first-place votes, beating finalists Minjee Lee and Atthaya Thitikul.

“What an honor to be awarded the GWAA’s Player of the Year,” Ko said. “It means so much to me to win it for a second time. What an amazing year 2022 turned out to be. So many cool things happened in my life, culminating in my wedding. While nothing could be more special than that, my golf was pretty good, too! I am truly thankful to everyone with the GWAA for recognizing me with this prestigious award.”

Lydia Ko of New Zealand poses with the trophy after winning the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club on November 20, 2022 in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Alker, who, like Ko, hails from New Zealand, had to earn status on the PGA Tour Champions in 2021 when he turned 50. In his first full season in 2022, he was a dominant force.

Alker, 51, finished in the top three in 13 of his 23 starts, won four times – including his first senior major, the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship – and captured the season-long Charles Schwab Cup. Alker earned 50.3 percent of first-place votes to beat out Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker.

“That’s pretty neat, especially with the company that I’m in, with all the names (of past winners),” Alker said. “Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, Bernhard (Langer), that’s pretty neat. Look, the awards that come along with a season like that are amazing. It’s fantastic.

“Obviously, I had time to sit down just before Christmas and kind of think about really what I’d done. I’m pleased and proud of myself for the consistency that I had throughout the year. That was the big thing. Padraig put a little pressure on me there at the end and I still had some work to do there at the Schwab Cup Championship. There were some big wins in there, so it was amazing.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek