Rickie Fowler has become the youngest player to win the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year (ROY) award since Tiger Woods in 1996.

The 21-year-old beat Rory McIlroy in the voting, which is conducted by the players, despite not winning an event on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy beat a strong field back in May when he stormed to victory at the Quail Hollow Championship reminding the world of his talent and his precise iron play.

The Ulsterman then starred in the European side that defeated America in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, although Fowler was also hugely impressive, especially when fighting back to grab a half against Edoardo Molinari.

There’s no doubting the quality of the two players but world number one, Lee Westwood, used his Twitter site to condemn the decision and criticised the PGA Tour for handing the award to Fowler.

Westwood said on the social newworking site: “Sorry 140 letters is not going to be enough for this rant! Just seen Ricky Fowler has been given rookie of the year! Yes he’s had a good year but Rory McIlroy 3rd in 2 majors and an absolute demolition of the field at quail hollow! Oh yes and on the winning Ryder cup team! Please! Is this yet another case of protectionism by the pga tour or are they so desperate to win something! Wouldn’t have something to do with Rory not joining the tour next year? Maybe the PGA tour just employs the same voting process as FIFA! Come on , fairs fair!

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