x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Rory McIlroy claims double award glory after triumphant season

The world number one's four victories in the USA during 2012 have secured him the PGA of America's player of the year award - and the Vardon Trophy for lowest average of the season.

Rory McIlroy prepares for the UBS Hong Kong Open
Rory McIlroy prepares for the UBS Hong Kong Open

Rory McIlroy has been named the PGA of America's Player of the Year and winner of its Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average of the season.

Northern Ireland's world number one won four times in the States during a 2012 in which he emulated Ryder Cup teammate Luke Donald's feat last year of topping the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tiger Woods was runner-up for Player of the Year, but ineligible for the Vardon Trophy because of his injury withdrawal during the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami in March.

But for that he would have finished with an average of 68.9 to McIlroy's 68.87, but second place instead went to Jim Furyk on 69.3.

The awards come at the end of a remarkable year for the 23-year-old, which has seen him already clinch the PGA Tour money race and the Race to Dubai - along with his role in the successful Ryder Cup side.

McIlroy has ultimately set his sights on Colin Montgomerie's eight European merit wins, and even Jack Nicklaus's 18 Majors. But he declined to set any firm goals for next year.

McIlroy, speaking ahead of his title defence of the Hong Kong Open this week, said: "You pick these awards up at the end of the year and it's always a nice honour, it is always very special.

"But looking forward to next year, I just want to keep improving and try to become a better golfer.

"If I can do that, then more tournaments and more Majors will come. I'm not naming any goals or targets like that, I just want to keep trying to improve and keep trying to get better."

The PGA Tour has its own Player of the Year award, members having until November 30 to vote, and McIlroy is now expected to be a runaway winner of that.

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