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Rory McIlroy named 2014 PGA Tour Player of the Year, surprising no one

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In an announcement that had about as much uncertainty regarding the ultimate outcome than what typically occurs during a Sunday in the Ryder Cup — sorry, Americans — the PGA Tour announced Wednesday that Rory McIlroy has been named the 2014 PGA Tour Player of the Year.

McIlroy has now won the Jack Nicklaus Award two of the past three years, joining Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Nick Price as the only multiple winners of the award, although the tradition only goes back to 1990.

The outcome of the voting, which is done by PGA Tour members, is hardly a shock, given the run of dominance McIlroy displayed during a red-hot stretch earlier this year when he won the British Open, secured his first World Golf Championship by winning the Bridgestone Invitational and then won his 4th major at the PGA Championship.

Playing at the Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews this week, McIlroy expressed gratitude but also said he expects this not to be his last time he is named the PGA Tour Player of the Year.

“I’d like to win a lot more in my career, and I feel like I can,” he said, via a Golf.com report.

“Being voted player of the year by your peers is something that’s important,” he continued. “They are the guys that you play week in and week out, and the guys you are trying to beat week in and week out. And if they appreciate what you’ve done over the year, and see the hard work you’ve put in, and golf you’ve played, and think that’s been the best of the season, that’s something that means a lot to me.”

McIlroy echoed the sentiments above on Twitter Wednesday.

“I guess it just makes me realize that even though last year wasn’t the year I wanted, the last three or four years have been very, very good,” McIlroy said. “It gives me even more motivation to go on and work harder and try to win more tournaments, more majors, and be involved in more Ryder Cups like last week.”

McIlroy had a significant impact on Europe’s 16 1/2-11 1/2 victory, winning 2 points and netting two halves.

His PGA Tour season was just as successful, landing in the top 10 twelve times in tournaments, not finishing out of the top 25 in any of his 17 starts.

McIlroy also was the Tour’s leading money winner with $8.2 million pocketed, netting him the Arnold Palmer Award. He also won the Bryon Nelson Award, given to player with the best adjusted scoring average (68.83), via a BBC report.

Given that his year off the course was tumultuous, to put it mildly, given the abrupt ending of his engagement to Caroline Wozniack — although he was the one that broke it off — it must be especially gratifying for McIlroy to win such a prestigious award, in particular how it came off an underwhelming 2013 campaign, as chronicled by Golf.com.

McIlroy failed to win on the European Tour or on the PGA Tour in 2013 during a turbulent year when he switched out all of his equipment, and would end up in a legal mess after leaving his management company.

He also struggled with a phenomenon that became known as “Freaky Friday” for taking himself out of tournaments with bad second rounds. He solved that enigma and roared back to No. 1 in the world with a solid year that became spectacular with his two major titles.

McIlroy also led the PGA Tour with 12 finishes in the top 10, and he never finished worse than 25th. He also won the PGA Tour money title with just over $8.2 million, and he won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average.

Hats off to Rory for such a fitting end to such a remarkable season. And the bravado displayed by the 25-year-old regarding how he expects to win more of these awards? Who’s going to doubt him?

The only questions remaining is how McIlroy intends to celebrate his awards. If trophies are involved, there’s a good chance Jagermeister will be involved. If not, well, let’s hope he doesn’t commemorate the wins the way he celebrated Europe’s Ryder Cup victory.

Yeesh. Yeah, that’s a bit awkward. For everyone.

(image credit: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian)