• European Tour

McIlroy named European Tour player of the year

ESPN staff
December 17, 2014
Rory McIlroy won back-to-back majors in 2014 © Getty Images

Rory McIlroy may have missed out on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award but he has been chosen as the top European Tour player in 2014.

The Northern Irishman was pipped to the BBC prize by Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton on Sunday, but has been honoured by the European Tour after a season in which he won two majors, the Ryder Cup, and topped the money lists in Europe and the United States.

Rory McIlroy finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, with Jo Pavey third © PA Photos

World No.1 McIlroy claimed his first Open Championship by two strokes over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia at Royal Liverpool in July, and made it back-to-back majors with a a second US PGA Championship at Valhalla, finishing a shot clear of Phil Mickelson.

Between McIlroy's third and fourth major wins, he won the World Golf Championship event at Firestone for the first time, again with a two-shot victory over Garcia.

Overall, he took four big titles over three months, starting in May at the European Tour's flagship event at Wentworth, where he edged Shane Lowry by a shot on a course where he missed the halfway cut the previous two years.

That victory came days after canceling a wedding and relationship with tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.

At the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September, McIlroy won three points as Europe successfully defended the title.

"If I had won any one of those four titles it would have been a good year, but to win all four, to win The Race to Dubai, and to be part of another fantastic European victory in the Ryder Cup, means it is a great one," McIlroy said.

"The European Tour has always been good to me, so it is always special to be recognised in this way."

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