London - World number three Rory McIlroy was on Tuesday named the European Tour Golfer of the Year for the third time in the last four seasons.
The Northern Irishman, 26, is only the seventh player in European Tour history to be crowned European number one in consecutive campaigns.
He takes the award after winning three times in 2015, at the Dubai Desert Classic, the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last month.
The latter prize allowed him to successfully defend his Race to Dubai crown -- an honour he also claimed for a third time since 2012.
"It is a huge honour for me to be named European Tour Golfer of the Year again," McIlroy, who missed five weeks of the summer with an ankle injury sustained playing football, told europeantour.com.
"I feel very proud to have won this prestigious award for the third time -- it is always special, no matter how often, to be recognised this way.
"After a good first half to the season, the injury was obviously a setback for me, so to finish the year strongly with my second victory in Dubai -- plus picking up The Race to Dubai title again -- was very satisfying.
McIlroy was unable to add to his four Major triumphs in 2015, coming closest with a fourth-place finish at the Masters.
He then came tied ninth at the US Open before injury prevented him from defending his title at the British Open and he finished 17th at the PGA Championship in August.