REUTERS - Northern Irish world number one Rory McIlroy was named on Wednesday as the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year for a second time after a stellar 2014 campaign highlighted by two major victories.
The 25-year-old, who first landed the coveted honour in 2012, won consecutive majors this season at the British Open and PGA Championship, sandwiched around his victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
McIlroy won out over Billy Horschel, Martin Kaymer, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson in a vote of his peers.
He also earned the Arnold Palmer Award as the Tour’s leading official money winner ($8,280,096) and claimed the Byron Nelson Award for adjusted scoring average (68.83).
American Chesson Hadley, winner of the Puerto Rico Open, was selected Rookie of the Year.
McIlroy displayed remarkable consistency, finishing no worse than 25th in any of his 17 tournament appearances and placed outside the top 10 only five times.
He said that 2014 was a more consistent season than when he previously won the award in 2012 and thanked his peers for voting him number one.
“It’s a great honour and a great honour to win twice in the space of three years, and hopefully I can win it for many more years to come,” McIlroy told reporters, speaking by telephone from the 18th tee at St. Andrews, where he was preparing for this week’s European Tour event.
”If I compare 2012 to 2014, I’d say that this year’s play was much more consistent.
“Every time I teed it up I felt like I had a good chance to win, and that’s what I feel like I need going forward, consistency in my game and being up there each and every week.”
The Northern Irishman did not have a discernible weakness in his game, ranking 16th in total driving, sixth in greens in regulation and 12th in putting.
He also had two runner-up finishes to go with his three victories and finished third in the FedEx Cup standings.
After his brilliant 2012 season, McIlroy had a minor slump in 2013 as equipment changes and off-course issues seemingly took a toll, but he is confident he will have no such problems in 2015 as he cuts his schedule slightly.
“I think just from a maturity standpoint and from being in this position for a good bit over the past couple years, I‘m probably better equipped to handle it now than I might have been when I first got to number one back in the middle of 2012,” he said.
Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Steve Keating