Rory McIlroy voted PGA's player of the year

Jose Verdugo
Setiembre 13, 2019

"In your first year, you just want to get your card for the next year - to survive, honestly".

This week sees 2018 US Amateur champion Viktor Hovland of Norway make his debut as a tour member after posting some impressive rounds after turning pro in June. I think players don't just feel that four weeks a year is important. Why do we play 25 times a year when only four weeks are really important?

"I thought maybe Brooks winning the PGA Championship this year was going to be the difference-maker, but you know, the other players thought differently and I'm very honored that they thought enough of my season to give me this award", McIlroy said.

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After playing exclusively in the USA until July, skipping the Irish Open at Lahinch, McIlroy racked up 14 top-10 finishes in the U.S. and vowed to repeat his US-based schedule in 2020 before admitting that with a May 28-31 date likely for the Irish Open in 2020, he'd "definitely" play if such a move is confirmed.

There's the KLM Open teeing off at The International in the capital of Holland on Thursday, and the Greenbrier Classic at White Sulphur Springs for the resumption of the PGA Tour. Including his FedEx Cup and Wyndham Reward bonuses, McIlroy won $24.3 million last season, the most in Tour history. Koepka already had won the PGA of America's Player of the Year award - determined by a points system- and will undoubtedly win the Golf Writers Association of America's year-end vote based on his major championship play.

Also new, the tour this season has reduced the number of players who will make the cut from the top 70 players and those tied to the top 65 and ties. He won the PGA Championship, joining Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back winners since the PGA switched to stroke play in 1958. Even then, most analysts assumed Koepka's major championship season would put him over the top. Koepka looked like the surefire victor until the season-ending Tour Championship where McIlroy won the tournament, the FedEx Cup, and $15 milllion. He led the Tour money list with almost $9.7 million. But it was clearly second to Koepka's. Many of them are average pros who will never win a major, but have a clear understanding of how hard it is to finish inside the top-10 almost every week. Only Woods (12 in 2000) had more in majors in a single season. 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. He had 16 top-25s and seven top-10s in 35 events.

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