PGA Tour

Rory voted PGA's best player

Rory McIlroy (AFP)
Rory McIlroy (AFP)

New York - Back-to-back major titles, with a World Golf Championships crown tossed in for good measure, saw Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy voted the US PGA Tour's Player of the Year by his peers.

The award was announced on Wednesday, and 25-year-old McIlroy spoke on a conference call from St. Andrews about winning the award for the second time in three years.

He joined 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, Australia's Greg Norman and Zimbabwe's Nick Price as the only multiple winners of the award since it was introduced in 1990.

"It's a very important honor for players to be voted Player of the Year by your peers," said McIlroy, who is coming off an inspiring series of performances in Europe's successful defence of the Ryder Cup last weekend.

"They're the guys that you're trying to beat week-in, week-out, and the other guys see you put the hard work in, and to know that they appreciate what you've put into it and how well that you've played, it's a great honor -- and a great honor to win twice in the space of three years.

"Hopefully I can win it for many more years to come," he added.

McIlroy's season was unspectacular until he came alive at the British Open, where he led wire to wire and finish two strokes clear of Spain's Sergio Garcia and American Rickie Fowler.

He followed that up with his first WGC title at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, and another major at the PGA Championship in his next start.

He played in 17 events on the US PGA Tour, finishing in the top 25 in all 17 with 12 top?10 finishes.

He finished third in the final FedExCup standings and won the Arnold Palmer Award as the tour's top money winner for the second time.

"I don't feel like I got off to a slow start to the season," he said.

"It was a solid start, quite a few top 10s, without really getting the wins."

McIlroy said the turning point of his season came on the European Tour - when he came from seven shots adrift to win the European PGA Championship at Wentworth.

He edged Ireland's Shane Lowry by a stroke on Sunday, having announced his split from tennis star Caroline Wozniacki on the eve of the tournament.

"I think the catalyst for this year probably wasn't even on the PGA Tour, it was probably back on the European Tour in Wentworth when I won there," he said.

"To get that first win of the season is always important, and then to go on from there gave me the confidence going into the summer, and obviously I had a great stretch in the summer. It's been an incredible run, and just trying to keep it going as long as I can."

McIlroy got the nod from his colleagues on the US Tour ahead of US Open champion Martin Kaymer of Germany, Masters champion Bubba Watson, FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel and three-time winner Jimmy Walker.

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