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."