In a bit of a surprise, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland has been selected over Brooks Koepka as 2019 PGA Tour Player of the Year by the players on the circuit and will receive the Jack Nicklaus Award
The 30-year-old McIlroy, who is No. 2 in the World Golf Rankings behind Koepka, captured the Players Championship, the Canadian Open and the season-ending Tour Championship to wrap up the FedEx Cup, which he also won in 2016.
McIlroy claimed the award for the third time, also winning in 2012 and 2014.
“I think this speaks volumes on what PGA Tour players feel is important,” McIlroy, a four-time major champion, said upon hearing that he won the award. “ … I think players don’t just feel four weeks a year (the majors) is important. …
“It’s a huge vote of confidence that we play for more than what the narrative suggests.”
McIlroy also finished in the top 10 a total of 14 times in his 19 starts on the PGA Tour this season and led the circuit at 2.41 in Strokes Gained: Total, which measures consistency over the course of a season.
However, McIlroy had something of a disappointing season in the majors, as he tied for 21st while trying to complete the Career Grand Slam in the Masters, tied for eighth in PGA Championship, tied for ninth in the U.S. Open and missed the cut in the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.
“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,” Commissioner Jay Monahan of the PGA Tour said.
“Rory’s season was a model of consistency punctuated by milestone victories and ultimately the FedEx Cup in Atlanta.”
Koepka, 29, who won the award last year and recently was selected 2019 PGA Tour Player of the Year by the PGA of America, captured PGA Championship, the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. He finished in the top 10 on nine occasions in 21 tournaments.
In addition to winning the PGA for his fourth major title in three season, Koepka tied for second in the Masters, finished solo second in the U.S. Open and tied for fourth in the Open Championship to cap a brilliant major season.