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Golf

Rory McIlroy Is The Player Of 2012

Brian Spurlock-US Presswire

Rory McIlroy (pictured) won his last regular event of the season at the World Tour Championship in Dubai. McIlroy birdied the last five holes to beat Justin Rose by two shots and ended the conventional part of the season with another win.

There are several lucrative unofficial events before the end of the year but the Dubai event marked the end of the regular season in Europe. It is fitting that McIlroy should win the event as there is no doubt that he is now the best player in the world.

McIlroy now looks almost certain to be named Player of the Year by the US Tour and deserves the equivalent accolade in Europe. He won the money lists on both Tours, emulating Luke Donald, who became the first player to achieve that double in 2011.

The Irish golfer is the youngest player to win 10 million dollars on both main Tours. After winning the US PGA Championship in August he became the youngest multiple major champion since Severiano Ballesteros in 1980 and the sixth youngest of all time.

McIlroy will also be remembered in 2012 for winning his Ryder Cup singles match despite arriving at the course ten minutes before he was due to play. He got his time zones mixed up and required a lift from a policeman to get to the course in time for his match against Keegan Bradley.

Every point was crucial for Europe on that Sunday afternoon in Chicago. Bradley won three points alongside Phil Mickelson over the first two days of the Ryder Cup and was full of confidence ahead of his match against McIlroy. Even so McIlroy won the match and that point was the difference between the States losing and winning the Ryder Cup.

McIlroy won the PGA Championship by eight shots and has now won two majors. He is destined to win each major at least once and that could happen in the next three years. His game is least suited to the British Open, but he is sure to realise that he has to win that title in order to be recognised as one of the greats of the game.

In addition winning a major, McIlroy also won three regular tournaments on the US Tour. That tally included two FedEx Cup play-off events. Only a scoring system weighted in favour of the winner of the Tour Championship prevented McIlroy winning the 10 million dollar bonus as the FedEx Cup champion.

McIlroy is now at number one in the world rankings and looks set for several years at the pinnacle of the sport.