Rory McIlroy has won the Association of Golf Writers’ trophy, becoming only the third player to secure the prestigious award on three occasions.
The 26-year-old joins Seve Ballesteros and Lee Westwood as a three-time winner after picking up the accolade in 2012 and 2014.
“When you think of the contributions that Seve and Lee made to European golf over the years, I am delighted to be linked with them at such an early age, and clearly I’m hoping to do enough to win the AGW trophy in future years as well,” McIlroy said.
The four-time major champion was a narrow victor this year, just edging Britain and Ireland’s Walker Cup team, who pulled off a record 16.5-9.5 triumph over the United States’ leading amateurs at Royal Lytham and St Annes in September.
Third place went to Englishman Andy Sullivan following his breakthrough campaign on the European Tour when, alongside McIlroy, he was the only three-time winner.
The world number three, who was also named European Tour Golfer of the Year earlier this week, triumphed at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last month to successfully defend his Race to Dubai crown - an honour he also claimed for a third time since 2012.
“Winning in Dubai again meant a huge amount to me and enabled me to look at the year as a whole in a different light. It has also given me that bit of momentum going into next season,” McIlroy added.
“I’d also like to congratulate our Walker Cup team as well on their stunning success. It must have been a very difficult decision for the golf writers.”