Rory McIlroy is European Tour Golfer of the Year for 2012
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has been named the European Tour's Golfer of the Year.
Last Updated: 18/12/12 1:58pm
The 23-year-old enjoyed a superb 2012, ending the campaign as world number one after five worldwide victories and also winning the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.
In August he stormed to an eight-shot win in the USPGA Championship at Kiawah Island and he finished the season by capturing the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
McIlroy had already wrapped up the Race To Dubai as Europe's leading money earner but ended the campaign in style by winning the finale with birdies at each of the last five holes.
He also played his part in Europe's epic Ryder Cup triumph at Medinah, winning his singles clash against Keegan Bradley as Jose Maria Olazabal's men came from 10-6 down on the final day.
"Everyone who knows me knows how special the 2012 season was," McIlroy said. "A couple of wins, including a major, and consistent performances in big events all helped me win The Race to Dubai for the first time.
"To win that was a massive highlight of an amazing season and I hope it will be the first of many. Now, to have been named as The European Tour Golfer of the Year puts the icing on the cake.
"It is a very special honour indeed and you only need to look down the list of players who have preceded me as the winner of this award to see precisely why; quite simply, it is a Who's Who of golf and I'm delighted to now be a part of that in the history books.
"We play golf because we relish the opportunity to win major championships and world-class tournaments around the globe. But when we do that, to be recognised for these achievements is a great thrill and I thank all the members of the panel who voted for me."
Luke Donald won the award in 2011 while the year before it was shared by Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer, two other of McIlroy's Medinah teammates.
Other previous winners include Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Ernie Els.
Earlier this month McIlroy was also voted US PGA Tour Player of the Year, becoming the youngest player to win that award since Tiger Woods in 1998.