HOUSTON – Reigning U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open champions Inbee Park and Kenny Perry have been honored by the Golf Writers Association of America as the 2013 Female and Senior Players of the Year, respectively.
Masters champion Adam Scott was named the Male Player of the Year, edging three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods by five votes.
Park and Perry were near-unanimous winners, each gathering 91 percent of the vote (220 voters) in their respective categories.
Park’s four-stroke victory over fellow Korean I.K. Kim last June at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., capped a remarkable run of three consecutive major championships. Park, who also won the Kraft Nabisco Championship and Wegmans LPGA Championship, joined Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1950) as the only players to win the first three women’s major championships of the season.
The 25-year-old’s bid for a fourth consecutive major and possible Grand Slam was ended at the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews, where she finished tied for 42nd. Park, who also won the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2002 U.S. Girls’ Junior, finished 2013 with six victories and Rolex Player of the Year honors.
“Last year was a year that I could never forget,” said Park, who finished well ahead of Stacy Lewis in the balloting. “I was able to put my name among the greatest players around the world. Now, on top of that, I am being recognized and honored by golf writers. They are those who know what has just happened last year in every detail. I can almost say that they know me better than I know myself. That's why this honor is very special and means a lot to me.”
Perry posted three wins on the Champions Tour, but two were major titles: the Senior Players Championship and the U.S. Senior Open at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club, where he shot 64-63 on the weekend for a five-stroke victory over Fred Funk. Perry, of Franklin, Ky., also earned the season-long Schwab Cup and easily won the GWAA honor over Bernhard Langer.
“It is my highest honor, from the players or the writers, to be named player of the year,” said Perry. “Here I am at 53 doing stuff I probably shouldn’t be doing, I’m so honored that the writers are paying attention to me.”
Scott, 33, claimed his first career major at Augusta National Golf Club with a playoff victory over 2007 U.S. Open champion and 2009 Masters winner Angel Cabrera. He finished the year with two PGA Tour wins, including the Masters, and teamed with two-time U.S. Open runner-up (2011 and 2013) Jason Day to claim the World Cup of Golf. Scott closed out the year by winning the Australian PGA and Australian Masters, and finished second in the Australian Open.
The winners will be honored April 9 at the annual GWAA Awards Dinner in Augusta, Ga., the night before the start of the Masters.