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2012 US PGA Player of the Year Rory McIlroy.
2012 US PGA Player of the Year Rory McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy named player of the year by US PGA tour golfers

The world number one, who topped both the US and European tour money lists, was voted by his peers as the best player of 2012.

Rory McIlroy capped off his remarkable 2012 last night after being named the US tour's Player of the Year.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland became the youngest player to win the award since then 21-year-old Tiger Woods in 1997.

It comes after a year that saw McIlroy scoop the US and European tour money titles, awards for the lowest scoring average and his four wins on the PGA tour, finishing the season by winning a nail-biting DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last month.

"It's always nice to get recognition from your peers, the guys that you're trying to beat week in, week out," he said.

"It's very rewarding and it's just a great way to end what has been a great year and my best season so far."

McIlroy became the third European in five years to capture the award, following Padraig Harrington in 2008, and Luke Donald last year.

The tour does not announce the voting numbers for the award, but the ballot for Player of the Year also included Woods, who had three wins this season, Jason Dufner, Masters Champion Bubba Watson and Brandt Snedeker, who captured his second title of the season at the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup playoff crown.

John Huh, the only rookie to make it to the Tour Championship, was named Rookie of the Year after securing his tour card in qualifying school.

After his win at the PGA Championship, McIlroy went on to win the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick.

McIlroy's other victory was earlier in the season, when he held off Woods to win the Honda Classic and reach number one in the world for the first time.

He surrendered and regained the top spot several times over the season until settling in at number one with his strong late form.

"I think everyone knows that my game wasn't where I wanted it to be through the start of the summer and leading up to the PGA," McIlroy said.

He will kick off next season facing Woods and Donald in Abu Dhabi.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said McIlroy's professionalism was as striking as his game.

"He has handled himself in terrific fashion," Finchem said.

"He has been very direct with the media and entertaining to the fans inside and outside the ropes.

"He is at a very young age already making a very solid contribution to what is the most important asset of the PGA Tour, and that is the image of its players."

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