Rory McIlroy beat out Brooks Koepka to his third PGA Tour Player of the Year honor.
Voting for the award was open to players who competed in at least 15 official FedEx Cup events during the 2018-19 season.
While the Tour does not release vote totals and announced McIlroy the winner over Koepka, Matt Kuchar and Xander Schauffele, in alphabetical order, it was long considered a two-man race between McIlroy and Koepka. For all of his accomplishments last season, McIlroy did not claim a major title while Koepka won the PGA Championship and remains the top-ranked player in the world.
“Look, Brooks has had an incredible year, an incredible two, three years, whatever it is,” McIlroy said. “He’s the No. 1 player in the world in the world golf rankings, and I don’t know, I think this speaks volumes of what PGA Tour players feel is important, and you know, because I think that — and I’ve harped on about this a little bit over the course of the year.”
“Yeah, I’m at a loss for words,” McIlroy said. “So thinking that I’ve won my third Jack Nicklaus trophy, to be presented with the Jack Nicklaus trophy by the man himself today was very surprising.
“Yeah, look, I couldn’t be more proud of what I’ve achieved this year,” McIlroy said. “You know, I wanted to try and bring my best every single week that I played and I feel like I did that to the best of my ability, and I feel like the top-10s, the consistency, the work that I’ve put in, I think that the greatest compliment you receive is that your peers feel like you’ve done something pretty special and for this award to be voted on by my fellow players, I’m very humbled and very honored.
And I think it says a lot about what I’ve put into this year and it validates some of the decisions that I’ve made starting off the year, and you know, I couldn’t be more proud to win this award for the — for the third time,” McIlroy added.
McIlroy is the second player, after Woods in 2007 and 2009, to win multiple FedEx Cup championships. The Northern Irishman also won The Players Championship and the RBC Canadian Open while leading the Tour in adjusted scoring average (69.057), top-10s (14) and total strokes gained (2.551).
McIlroy, 30, also won the Jack Nicklaus Award as Player of the Year in 2012 and 2014. He is only the third player to win the Players, a major, the FedEx Cup and a World Golf Championship event in a career, joining Woods and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.
South Korea’s Sungjae Im, the only rookie to qualify for the Tour Championship, will receive the Arnold Palmer Award — renamed this year as a tribute to Palmer.
The 21-year-old tied for 19th in the FedEx Cup standings, and joins Stewart Cink as the only players to be named the Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in consecutive seasons. Im made 26 of 35 cuts during his rookie season, recording seven top-10s, with his best finish a tie for third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.
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