Rory McIlroy has been named Golfer of the Year by the European Tour, receiving the honor for the second straight year and third time since 2012.
McIlroy won three times this year on the European Tour, including a victory at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship that allowed him to successfully defend his Race to Dubai title. He earned the award over a list of nominees that included Justin Rose, Branden Grace, Andy Sullivan, Anirban Lahiri and Danny Willett.
"It is a huge honor for me to be named European Tour Golfer of the Year again," McIlroy said. "I feel very proud to have won this prestigious award for the third time - it is always special, no matter how often, to be recognized this way."
McIlroy got off to a strong start with a convincing victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February, and his WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship title counted as a win on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Shortly thereafter, his season was derailed by an ill-timed soccer injury that forced him to miss title defenses at both the Open Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
McIlroy returned to action at the PGA Championship, and he closed with three top-12 finishes across the Finals series, successfully holding off Willett and Sullivan at the season's final event. He closed his European Tour campaign with eight top-10 finishes in 12 starts, including three wins.
"After a good first half to the season, the injury was obviously a setback for me," McIlroy said. "So to finish the year strongly with my second victory in Dubai - plus picking up the Race to Dubai title again - was very satisfying. This was an objective I successfully fulfilled this season. To now win the Golfer of the Year award, too, is a great way to sign off the year. I am already looking forward to starting the new season and trying to achieve even more in 2016."