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At least someone got it right with a trophy for Rory McIlroy

McIlroy hailed as golf's man of the year

By Ali Gordon

After the astonishing BBC Sports Personality of the Year overlooking of his fantastic 2014 achievements, Rory McIlroy's extraordinary season is today properly recognised.

Leading golf writers and TV commentators have named Rory the 2014 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year, collecting the prestigious award for the second time in three years.

Holywood's World No1 enjoyed arguably the greatest campaign in the history of the European Tour, capturing four of the most prestigious titles on offer, including two Major Championships, en route to winning his second Race to Dubai crown.

McIlroy also led the way in earnings on the US PGA Tour, becoming the first player to top the money lists on both side of the Atlantic in the same season on two occasions, while he also starred in Europe's emphatic Ryder Cup victory against the United States at Gleneagles.

It wasn't enough to sway BBC voters with Lewis Hamilton being crowned ahead of McIlroy, by 209,000 votes to 123,000 in a surprisingly low turnout of 620,000 from a nation of 52million.

But McIlroy will be more than consoled by the recognition of his achievements from those who watch him close up.

The Open and USPGA champion said: "To be named the European Tour's Golfer of the Year for a second time is a huge honour and one I am extremely proud of."

Rory added: "If I had won any one of those four titles it would have been a good year, but to win all four, to win The Race to Dubai, and to be part of another fantastic European victory in Twhe Ryder Cup, means it is a great one.

"This award is a very nice way to round off the year. The European Tour has always been good to me, so it is always special to be recognised in this way. Hopefully I can have more years like this one and win the award again."

George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: "The 2014 season will go down as one of the greatest in the European Tour's history, and it will be defined by Rory McIlroy's astounding accomplishments on the global stage.

"Europe's performance to retain The Ryder Cup and Martin Kaymer's dominant victories in the US Open and Players Championship on the US PGA Tour alone would have made it a year to remember for European golf, but Rory's victories in four of the biggest championships on our International Schedule will ensure the story of this season is retold for many years to come. Quite rightly, therefore, it is Rory who receives our Golfer of the Year Award for 2014.

"Rory is a fine ambassador for the game of golf and a loyal supporter of The European Tour, as he has shown with his backing of the Irish Open next year, so we are all very proud of his success, not only during this year but across his career to date."

Derek Lawrenson, Chairman of the Association of Golf Writers and Golf Correspondent of The Daily Mail, said: "Having started my writing career chronicling the winning adventures of Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer, it seems amazing to consider this year the best of all for European golf.

"Rory McIlroy's feat in winning The Open Championship, the US PGA Championship, the BMW PGA Championship and the WGC- Bridgestone Invitational not only made him the Golfer of the Year, but the European Tour golfer of any year, for this was the best season any player born in Europe has ever enjoyed. And all the age of just 25. The Rory era has begun."

James Haddock, Golf Reporter for Sky Sports News, said: "Rory is deserving of this vote after a year where he struck fear into his opponents and began taking a grasp on golf with a season of emerging dominance."

BBC Northern Ireland made up for the national broadcaster's oversight in many eyes by naming Rory their Sports Personality of the Year last night.

Belfast Telegraph

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