Rory McIlroy was last night named the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year, sponsored by Magners, at a glittering awards ceremony at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast.
The 20-year-old, who begins this year’s campaign in Abu Dhabi this week, said winning a major was his top priority for the new season.
“Definitely a major is my main ambition,” he said.
“I put myself in position at the US PGA last year to win and finished third in the end and had another top ten at the US Open.
“I had a lot of good experiences at the majors last year and hopefully with Tiger out for a while I can seize the opportunity and take one before he gets back.”
McIlroy scooped last night's top award after winning his first European tour event, the Dubai Desert Classic, last year and for his three top 20 major finishes which helped propel him into the top ten in the world.
He saw off stiff competition from last year's winner, cyclist Wendy Houvenaghel, champion jump jockey Tony McCoy, and champion figure skater Jenna McCorkell.
“I'd like to thank the readers of the Belfast Telegraph and the judges for this award which means a lot to me,” he said.
Stephen Ferris was awarded the Player of the Year award last night, Niall McGinn won the George Best Breakthrough award, and Maeve Kyle was inducted into the Hall of Fame.