Rory McIlroy has been named The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for May following his glorious victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.
The Northern Irishman came from seven shots back going into the final round to triumph by one stroke from Shane Lowry in The European Tour’s flagship event, rubber-stamping a truly stellar month for European Tour Members around the world.
McIlroy, who receives an engraved alms dish and a Jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, closed with a magnificent round of 66 over the famous West course, moving to second place in The 2014 Race to Dubai after claiming his first professional victory on European soil and sixth European Tour title in total.
The 25 year old said: “Winning The European Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth was something very special. My first victory on European soil is a really important and welcome addition to my career titles to date.
“The European Tour has always been good to me, and this win really cements the great relationship we enjoy. To have won the BMW PGA Championship, and with it the Golfer of the Month award, is the coming together of some really good, recent form. Hopefully the win will be the start of a big season’s golf for me.”
The European Tour Golfer of the Month Panel, comprising members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from television and radio, focused their attention on winning and exceptional performances in The Race to Dubai on The European Tour International Schedule where Chile’s Felipe Aguilar (The Championship at Laguna National), England’s Daniel Brooks (Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI) and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (Nordea Masters) were all champions, in addition to Miguel Angel Jiménez extending his record as the oldest European Tour winner with a play-off success in the Open de España at the age of 50 years and 133 days.
Consideration was also given to performances worldwide, with Martin Kaymer, who holed the putt that won Europe The 2012 Ryder Cup, returning to top form with his win in The Players Championship on the US PGA Tour, while Colin Montgomerie collected his first Senior Major Championship with a four shot win ahead of United States Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson in the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, in which Germany’s Bernhard Langer finished tied third following his Insperity Invitational triumph.
James Haddock, Golf Reporter for Sky Sports News, said: “Rory stepped up his game as the week progressed at Wentworth to claim the prestigious BMW PGA Championship title. This was a week when Rory displayed the human side, his ability to face the media and not shy away from things, and, more importantly, despite everything going on around him, his ability to get out onto the golf course and get the job done. This was all we love about Rory and his game.
“Notable mention, however, must go to Miguel Angel Jiménez and Colin Montgomerie for two outstanding performances. Miguel broke his own record as oldest winner on The European Tour on which he continues to entertain us and is such a joy to watch. And it was also a pleasure to watch Monty end his hoodoo in America with a victory and a senior Major title – rolling back the years with four imperious rounds in which he was almost faultless from tee to green.”
Derek Lawrenson, Golf Correspondent of the Daily Mail and Chairman of the Association of Golf Writers, said: “This was surely one of the hardest months to judge in the history of this award, with so many worthy candidates. It seems almost perverse not to give it to the ageless Miguel Ángel Jiménez, following his record-breaking victory in his native Spanish Open, or Colin Montgomerie for winning a senior major championship after all his heartbreaking near misses in the regular ones. Or Martin Kaymer for his brilliant victory in The Players Championship, or Thongchai Jaidee for holding off golfers of the calibre of Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher to win a play-off for the Nordea Masters in Sweden.
"Ultimately, though, it’s impossible to ignore Rory McIlroy winning the BMW PGA Championship. It is, after all, The European Tour’s flagship event, boasting such a class field, and the thrilling manner of the Northern Irishman’s victory just topped everything off nicely, as he came from seven shots behind on the final day to triumph.”
Miguel Angel Jiménez (December), Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher (January), France’s Victor Dubuisson (February), Welshman Jamie Donaldson (March), France’s Alexander Levy (April) and McIlroy will all be considered, along with the next six monthly winners, for The 2014 European Tour Golfer of the Year Award which was won in 2013 by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson following his DP World Tour Championship, Dubai victory which secured the Number One spot in The 2013 Race to Dubai.