Rory McIlroy has been voted The 2012 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year to round off a record-breaking season in style.
The 23-year-old won the PGA Championship by eight shots at Kiawah Island in August and capped off a remarkable year by birdieing the final five holes to claim victory at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Those achievements helped him to amass €5,519,118, breaking a European Tour record for money earned during a single season.
In 15 starts on the European Tour this season, the world number one finished inside the top ten on ten occasions.
The Ulsterman also won four times on the PGA Tour – including back-to-back victories at the FedEx Cup play-offs – to claim the PGA Tour Player of the Year accolade and become only the second person in golf’s history to top the PGA and European Tour money lists in the same season.
The judging panel – comprised of newspaper and magazine journalists and commentators from radio and television – also singled out Ian Poulter, who galvanised the European side at Medinah, and Branden Grace, a four-time winner in his maiden European Tour season, for praise.
“Everyone who knows me knows how special 2012 was,” McIlroy told the European Tour.
“To win the Race to Dubai for the first time was a massive highlight of an amazing season, and I hope it will be the first of many.
“Now, to have been named as the European Tour Golfer of the Year puts the icing on the cake.
“It’s a very special honour indeed and I’m delighted to now be a part of that in the history books.
“To be recognised for my achievements is a great thrill and I thank all the members of the panel who voted for me.”