Johnson, Scheffler favorites for tour's top player, rookie

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Dustin Johnson holds up the FedEx Cup trophy after winning the Tour Championship golf tournament on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 at Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA – Dustin Johnson won the silver trophy as the FedEx Cup champion. Odds are he soon will pick up another trophy, this one a bronze variety in the image of Jack Nicklaus.

The vote for PGA Tour player of the year was up in the air going into the Tour Championship, with only one major being played and six players with multiple victories. The winner at East Lake was thought to be the front-runner. Johnson's victory gave him three titles this season, tied with Justin Thomas.

With the short turnaround to the new season — two days between the final putt at East Lake and the opening drive at the Safeway Open in California — the ballots were going out this week to the players.

For the PGA Tour player of the year, the candidates were Johnson, Thomas, PGA champion Collin Morikawa (two wins), Webb Simpson (two wins) and Jon Rahm (two wins).

Thomas won his three in October, January and August, all against strong fields, all three of his victories against limited fields that had no cut (CJ Cup in South Korea, Sentry Tournament of Championship and a World Golf Championship). Johnson won the Travelers Championship and The Northern Trust to go along with his FedEx Cup title he won at the Tour Championship. He also was runner-up to Morikawa at the PGA Championship.

More interesting will be the vote for PGA Tour rookie of the year.

The race is between Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland, with Harry Higgs and Maverick McNealey added to the ballot, presumably to fill space.

Hovland is the only rookie to have won this year, at the Puerto Rico Open the same week as the World Golf Championship in Mexico City where Scheffler was playing.