Rory McIlroy, who was confirmed as European Number One on Sunday after building an unassailable lead in The Race to Dubai, has already started collecting honours after winnng the PGA of America Player of the Year and Vardon Trophy.
McIlroy, whose record-breaking US PGA Championship triumph was the highlight of four victories this season, cruised to the PGA of America’s premier season-ending awards for excellence by a Tour professional.
McIlroy, 23, became the fourth youngest US PGA Champion on August 12 with a record eight-stroke triumph at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carloina. He went on to capture both the season money earnings and adjusted scoring average titles. He finished with 100 points, while Tiger Woods – a three-time winner this season – finished runner-up with 66 points. Woods is the all-time leader in both season-ending awards, having captured ten PGA Player of the Year awards and eight Vardon Trophies since 1997.
The PGA Player of the Year was first presented in 1948, and the Vardon Trophy originated in 1937.
McIlroy earned 60 victory points for his victories in the Honda Classic, PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship, and gained 20 points for the money earnings title and 20 more for adjusted scoring with a 68.87 average based upon the award minimum required 60 rounds. Woods earned 30 points for victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial Tournament and the AT&T National, and 18 points each for the season money list and season scoring average.
However, Woods was ineligible for the Vardon Trophy after withdrawing in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on March 11. The incomplete round resulted in a .10 penalty to his adjusted scoring average (from 68.90 to 69.00).
Jason Dufner and Masters Champion Bubba Watson tied for third with 50 overall points, followed by TOUR Champion Brandt Snedeker with 36, and Matt Kuchar with 34.
The PGA of America has honoured the game’s best players with the PGA Player of the Year Award since 1948. The award is presented to the top touring professional based on a point system for tournament wins, official money standings, and scoring averages. Points are tabulated from January 1, through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, which concluded on November 11.
Since 1937, the Vardon Trophy, named by The PGA of America in honour of famed British golfer Harry Vardon, is awarded annually to the touring professional with the lowest adjusted scoring average. It is based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA TOUR.
The adjusted score is computed from the average score of the field at each event.