Rory McIlroy was stunned by his PGA Player of the Year win

Rory McIlroy was stunned by his PGA Player of the Year win

After a somewhat surprising vote by PGA Tour members, McIlroy also edged Koepka for PGA Tour Player of the Year honors on Wednesday. He became only the third player to win The Players, a major championship, the FedExCup and a World Golf Championships event in his career, joining Tiger Woods and Henrik Stenson. Or maybe McIlroy did not want to admit he voted for Koepka, just what you'd expect from a player growing increasingly humble and grounded despite a swollen bank account and a hard-earned knack for hitting 340-yard drives. Aside from the obvious question of whether McIlroy should or shouldn't have won the award, it's interesting to analyze what this tells us about the players on tour.

No. Not even McIlroy expected McIlroy to beat out Koepka for the honor.

Branden Grace is flying the South African flag in a field led by Americans Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson, while a few other big names take a break, including Brooks Koepka of the US and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.

"I have heard this is one of the best events on the PGA Tour Champions, and I hope to play well in my first appearance in Cary", Love said in a statement. Why do we play 25 times a year when only four weeks are really important?

Along with a second straight PGA Championship title, Koepka also won the C.J. Cup and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Having covered multiple Players Championships at TPC Sawgrass, I can say that almost every top player prepares for it just like a major championship. Koepka was runner-up at the Masters and the U.S. Open, and his lowest finish at any major came at the Open Championship where he tied for fourth.

Last month, Koepka was named PGA of America Player of the Year based on points.

Nicklaus (1973), Woods (2005) and Jordan Spieth (2015) are the only other players to have finished in the top four in every major for the year.

The 21-year-old from Jeju learned Wednesday that he'd been voted Rookie of the Year after making 26 cuts in 35 starts.

The favourite was world number one Brooks Koepka, who also won three times in 2019, but included a win at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. McIlroy finished the year not just with three wins, but with 14 top-10s in 19 tournaments.

DeChambeau said he planned to play four tournaments before the Presidents Cup and will be hoping for the same kind of early-season success he had past year when he won his first tournament of the campaign at TPC Summerlin last November. He was the only rookie to reach the Tour Championship, and while he didn't win, he began the PGA Tour's postseason at No. 23 in the FedEx Cup.



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