Rory McIlroy’s sublime six iron to the tenth green during the final round of the US Open Championship has been voted by golf fans as The 2011 European Tour Shot of the Year.
The Northern Irishman, who won his first Major Championship on that glorious Sunday afternoon at Congressional Country Club, dominated The European Tour Shot of the Month competitions in 2011, winning three monthly awards (June, July and December) out of 12.
But it was that near-perfect, towering six iron from 216 yards on the par three tenth hole at Congressional which came to rest just a few inches from the hole that fans from My European Tour judged to be the outstanding shot of the 2011 season.
“I thought that shot was probably the most important in the round because YE Yang had just stuck it in there close, so to follow that shot up with mine was pretty cool,” said McIlroy.
“I had a big lead at that stage but there was always the chance that if I had hit it in the water or done something silly and YE had made his birdie then it would have put a bit of pressure on me.
“As it turned out the six iron I hit in there worked out perfectly and I could afford to relax a bit on the back nine and try to take in as much of the experience of winning my first Major as I could.
“By the time I reached the turn that Sunday, the amount of people surrounding that clubhouse area with the tenth tee box and green was just unbelievable. There was such a buzz around the place. When I stuck my six iron that close, and the roar that followed, it’s a feeling I will never forget.
“Obviously I am delighted that shot has been voted The 2011 European Tour Shot of the Year – it is always special to win an award voted for by the general public and hopefully I can produce a few more of those in 2012!”
With 30 per cent of the vote, McIlroy was the overwhelming winner of the Shot of the Year, with Miguel Angel Jiménez acquiring 21 per cent of the vote to take second place for his fearless second shot into the infamous par five 17th at Valderrama in the Andalucía Masters in October, a 250-yard five wood that left the Spaniard with only a ten-foot putt for eagle.
McIlroy also took third place (with 12 per cent of the vote) for his December effort – that majestic bunker shot on the 72nd hole of the UBS Hong Kong Open that found the bottom of the cup and secured the 22 year old his third European Tour career victory.
One of the lucky entrants who voted in the Shot of the Year competition on europeantour.com has won the sensational prize of a golf break for two people to two European Tour Destinations from the European Tour Properties Network portfolio, the London Golf Club and Le Golf National on the outskirts of Paris.
The London Golf Club – host of the European Open from 2008-2009 – became the first European Tour Destination in the European Tour Properties portfolio in 2009, while Le Golf National has not only hosted the French Open 17 times, but will also welcome The Ryder Cup in 2018.
The European Tour Shot of the Month Award is presented to the Tour Member for the shot judged by fans of My European Tour to be the most outstanding played during each calendar month on The European Tour International Schedule. The winning shots from each month are entered into The European Tour Shot of the Year Award.
The full list of monthly winners in 2011 was: Paul Casey (January), Alvaro Quiros (February), David Horsey (March), Matteo Manassero (April), Luke Donald (May), Rory McIlroy (June, July and December), Thomas Björn (August), Michael Hoey (September), Miguel Angel Jiménez (October) and Martin Kaymer (November).