World No1 golfer Rory McIlroy

HE is without a shadow  of a doubt the No 1 golfer in the world after taking the tour by the scruff of the neck this year.

Now to reinforce this mantle his fellow professionals across the pond also agreed.

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old Holywood sensation was voted PGA Tour Player of the Year by fellow players on the US Tour.

It capped a magnificent year for the Co Down starlet who won four events in the United States this year along with the World Tour Championship in Dubai.

And it made him the youngest player to win the PGA Players award since Tiger Woods in 1998.

Rory also won the money lists in Europe and the US and was also part of the victorious European Ryder Cup team which beat the US in their own backyard.

A jubitlant Rory said: “It’s a great way to end a great year and my best season so far.

“We are judged on wins ultimately. This year has been a great year with four wins on the PGA and winning in Dubai a couple of weeks ago.”

McIlroy singled out his first major win at the US Open at the Congressional in June 2011 as the beginning of a new stage of his career, saying he changed his approach to preparing for tournaments afterwards.

He added: “I always felt I had been dedicated to the game. I practised hard and worked at it.

“Over the past 18 months after winning the US Open I felt I went to that next level, or next stage, of my career.

“I felt my personality away from the golf course hasn’t changed but when I go to the golf course I’m more professional and more business-like.

“That is the way you have to be, if you want to be successful.”

McIlroy is the third European to win the title – also known as the Jack Nicklaus Award – following England’s Luke Donald last year and Irishman Padraig Harrington in 2008.

American John Huh was named rookie of the year after becoming the youngest player in more than a decade to qualify for the Tour Championship.

Rory’s wins this year included the: Honda Classic; US PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and the World Tour Championship.

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