Rory McIlroy has been named the European Tour’s Golfer of the Year for the third time in four seasons after retaining his position as European No 1. By Ali Stafford
The world No 3 topped the Race to Dubai standings for the second year running after winning the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, his third European Tour title during an injury-affected 2015.
McIlroy, who also won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and WGC-Cadillac Match Play before an ankle injury saw him miss two months of the season, became the first player since Padraig Harrington in 2008 to top the standings in consecutive years.
The Northern Irishman was given an exemption by the European Tour to feature in the Final Series despite playing fewer than the minimum of 13 events, but managed to post eight top-10s from 12 starts during another impressive campaign.
“It is a huge honour for me to be named European Tour Golfer of the Year again,” McIlroy said. “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.
“This was an objective I successfully fulfilled this season. To now win the Golfer of the Year award, too, is a great way to sign off the year. I am already looking forward to starting the new season and trying to achieve even more in 2016
Rory McIlroy says he had to dig extremely deep to win the DP World Championship and third Race to Dubai title
Race to Dubai runner-up Danny Willett, Rookie of the Year Byeong Hun An and British Masters champion Matt Fitzpatrick, with more top-10s than any other player during 2015, would also have been contenders for the award, with a panel consisting of members of the golfing media making the decision.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of The European Tour, said: “Rory [McIlroy] is not only a Major Champion, a World Golf Champion and an amazing talent, he is also a terrific ambassador for The European Tour, so to have him as our Golfer of the Year for 2015 is special.
“To win this prestigious award for a third time at the age of 26 is a superb achievement, and undoubtedly Rory showed again this season why he is one of golf’s, and indeed sport’s, most watchable performers, particularly during his captivating victory in Dubai last month. Our congratulations go to Rory for another outstanding season on The European Tour.”
The full list of Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month award winners in 2015 is: Danny Willett (December (2014) and July), Gary Stal (January), Anirban Lahiri (February), Richie Ramsay (March), Wu Ashun (April), Byeong Hun An (May), Alex Noren (June), Shane Lowry (August), Lee Slattery (September), Matthew Fitzpatrick (October) and Rory McIlroy (November).