Rory McIlroy’s sensational summer of success has earned him a second Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month award for 2014.
McIlroy, who receives an engraved alms dish and a Jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, was a unanimous choice for July following ‘back-to-back’ wins in The 143rd Open Championship and the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational with which he reclaimed Number One spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The 25 year old Northern Irishman, who won the May award following his BMW PGA Championship triumph at Wentworth Club, will tee off in this week’s US PGA Championship as leader of The 2014 Race to Dubai after becoming the tenth player in European Tour history to win more than €20 million in European Tour Official Career Earnings.
McIlroy, who has won three tournaments in the same season for the first time on The European Tour International Schedule, said: “Any time you win a Golfer of the Month Award it means you have had a great stretch of golf. And I’m glad to say I have. Winning The Open Championship followed by my first World Golf Championship title the next time I teed up was really special. After an amazing few weeks for me, I’m now back to World Number One. It really is a great feeling.
“And hopefully I am not done for the year just yet. Obviously we have the US PGA here at Valhalla this week, the year’s last Major, before heading into some really important tournaments to bring the season to a close. I hope I can continue to be in contention right up to the end and perhaps pick up a bit more silverware.”
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 on The European Tour International Schedule – Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (Alstom Open de France), England’s Justin Rose (Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open) and England’s David Horsey (M2M Russian Open) were all winners in July – with consideration also given to performances worldwide.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia came within a whisker of denying McIlroy in both The 143rd Open Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational while McDowell augmented his Alstom Open de France victory with top ten finishes at The 143rd Open Championship and WGC – Bridgestone Invitational and Rose also tied fourth in the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational. Elsewhere Argentina’s Ángel Cabrera captured The Greenbrier Classic while Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie won back-to-back Majors with his win in the US Senior Open and was runner-up to Germany’s Bernhard Langer in The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.
Derek Lawrenson, Golf Correspondent of the Daily Mail and Chairman of the Association of Golf Writers, said: “Has any Member of The European Tour ever enjoyed a month to rival what Rory McIlroy achieved in July?
“It says everything that Graeme McDowell could pull off a win and two top tens in a Major and a WGC event and still not get a look-in; that Justin Rose could win for the first time on Scottish soil; Colin Montgomerie claim a second Senior Major; and Bernhard Langer run away with The Senior Open Championship, and yet none of them got a peek. Hard luck to all those gentlemen, plus other notable achievers in July like David Horsey, winner of the M2M Russian Open. But they will all be among the first to appreciate this was McIlroy’s month – one that in the European annals might well stand alone.”
Bill Elliott, of Golf Monthly, said: “Impossible to vote for anyone other than Rory, but impossible not to mention Colin Montgomerie and especially Bernhard Langer whose total domination of The Senior Open Championship on a Royal Porthcawl course Tom Watson said was three shots harder than Royal Liverpool underlines the fact that Bernhard really is the last man standing from Generation X – Seve, Sir Nick, Sandy, Woosie and himself.”
McIlroy, who won The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award in 2012, will now be a contender for the 2014 award along with Spain’s Miguel Ángel Jiménez, winner of this year’s first monthly award in December, Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher (January), France’s Victor Dubuisson (February), Welshman Jamie Donaldson (March), France’s Alexander Levy (April) and Germany’s Martin Kaymer (June).
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson won the DP World Championship, Dubai in 2013 to secure Number One spot in The 2013 Race to Dubai following which he was voted The 2013 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year.