The South African, who won the award in 1994, claimed his first British Open title in July. He also won five other tournaments in the United States, Australia, Dubai, Scotland and South Africa.
Els won the Nedbank Challenge last week in Sun City, South Africa, by eight strokes over Colin Montgomerie.
``This is the perfect end to the perfect year,'' Els said Thursday. ``To win the Open at Muirfield was obviously a tremendous thrill. My goal at the start of the season was to add at least one more major to my two U.S. Open championships and I achieved that ' although I did have to do it the hard way.''
Els beat France's Thomas Levet in a playoff that also featured Australians Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington.
Els finished third on the European Tour money list and fifth on the PGA Tour.