McIlroy Upstages Koepka To Be Named 2019 PGA Tour ‘Player Of The Year’

McIlroy, 30 won the FedEx Cup for the second time (2016, 2019), becoming just the second player to win the season-long race multiple times (Tiger Woods), and the first player to win The Players and the FedEx Cup in the same season.

With three wins on the season (The Players, RBC Canadian Open, Tour Championship), McIlroy matched Koepka for the most on Tour, and marked the third time he collected three or more victories in a single season.

McIlroy also won the Byron Nelson Award for Adjusted Scoring Average (69.057) for the third time in his career and led the PGA TOUR in Top-10s (14) and Strokes Gained: Total (2.551).

“On behalf of the PGA Tour, my congratulations to Rory McIlroy on being voted the 2019 PGA Tour Player of the Year by the Tour’s membership,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.

“While there are a number of honors one can receive in this game, PGA Tour Player of the Year has to be among the most satisfying as it comes directly from his peers. Rory’s season was a model of consistency punctuated by milestone victories and ultimately the FedExCup in Atlanta.”

Monaghan then hosted a formal press conference where McIlroy was asked his reaction to the award.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what I’ve achieved this year,” said McIlroy.

“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 honoured.

“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.

“And yeah, very — somewhat surprised, but very honored that my fellow players thought enough of my year to award me this honour again.

“I thought maybe Brooks winning the PGA Championship this year was going to be the difference-maker, but you know, the other players thought differently and I’m very honoured that they thought enough of my season to give me this award.”

After one start in the fall of 2018 (World Golf Championships/HSBC Champions), McIlroy opened the 2019 calendar year with top-sixes in his first five starts before winning THE PLAYERS for his 15th career PGA TOUR victory. He became only the third player to win THE PLAYERS, a major, the FedExCup and a World Golf Championships event in a career, joining Tiger Woods and Henrik Stenson.

Six starts later, McIlroy made his tournament debut at the RBC Canadian Open, where he set the tournament record and won by seven shots, the largest winning margin of the season.

Three of McIlroy’s 14 top-10 finishes came at World Golf Championships events: Mexico Championship/2, Dell Technologies Match Play/T9 and FedEx St. Jude Invitational/T4.

McIlroy ended the PGA Tour Regular Season at No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings, claiming second place in the inaugural Wyndham Rewards Top 10, a $10 million bonus pool split among the top-10 finishers in the FedEx Cup Regular Season.

McIlroy entered the Tour Championship at No. 5 in the FedEx Cup standings, beginning the FedEx Cup Playoffs finale at 5-under, based on the new FedExCup Starting Strokes system. With rounds of 66-67-68-66, McIlroy won the TOUR Championship and hoisted the FedEx Cup for the second time in his career.

McIlroy was selected for the honour over (alphabetically) Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar and Xander Schauffele.

Im, a 21-year-old native of Jeju, South Korea, was the only rookie to advance to the TOUR Championship and finished the season tied for 19th in the FedEx Cup standings. With his Rookie of the Year honours, Im joins Stewart Cink (1996-97) 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.

For the season, Im made 26 cuts in 35 starts, becoming the first rookie in the FedEx Cup era to play 35 or more events. He recorded seven top-10s, highlighted by three top-fives, with his best finish of the season coming at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, where he tied for third.

“Congratulations to Sungjae on being voted 2019 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year,” said Monahan. “His ‘Ironman’ season was remarkably consistent from start-to-finish, and his fellow players raved about his all-around game throughout the year. Like so many Korn Ferry Tour graduates, he arrived on the PGA TOUR prepared to compete with the world’s best, and his season was a reflection of a maturity beyond his 21 years.”

Im was selected for the honor over (alphabetically) Cameron Champ, Adam Long, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff.




Comments are closed.