I’ll have to admit, after Rory McIlroy missed two cuts in a row at the Players Championship and the Memorial, then again at The US Open, I started to have my doubts about the youngster from Northern Ireland. When he blew up on the back nine at the Masters in 2011, and came back to win the US Open at Congressional, I thought he was the real McCoy. When he missed the cut again this year at Olympic, I was thinking, here we go again. Another flash in the pan like Sergio.
I could not have been further off base. His run started at the Bridgestone, where he got it back on track and shot an 8 under par, finishing tied for fifth place. Then then went on a tear, wining the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in record fashion and then going on to win the Deutche Bank, and the BMW Championship the following week. He would finish the FedEx Cup chase in second place with a tenth place finish in Atlanta.
On Tuesday, at age 23, McIlroy became the fourth youngest player in history to win the PGA Player of the Year award. He scored 100 points in the process, and finished the selection process by 35 points over Tiger Woods. Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson and Brandt Snedeker finished third, fourth and fifth respectfully.
He was also awarded the Vardon Trophy, which is won by the golfer with the lowest scoring average over the year. The Vardon Trophy winner traditionally also wins the Byron Nelson Award. McIlroy won this award by a stroke and a half a round lower than second place Jim Furyk. Jason Dufner finished third.
Tiger Woods should have finished second in the Vardon Award, but was disqualified after pulling out of WGC-Cadillac Championship in March, which resulted in a .10 stroke penalty for the withdrawal. You may remember, Tiger came up lame, and rode a golf cart to the club house, and never came back.
In addition to these awards, Rory McIlroy, who is playing in Hong Kong this weekend, will lead the Money List on both tours, and is the current leader in Race to Dubai points. He will go to Dubai in two weeks as the number one seed in the 60 man field. I know, he hasn’t quite caught up with the career of Tiger Woods at this point, but if he continues with a few more years like the 2012 season, he will get there eventually. Now we have to see if he has longevity.
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