Players vote Rory POY over Brooks

Rory McIlroy beat out Brooks Koepka to win PGA Tour Player of the Year honors for the third time.

McIlroy joins Tiger Woods as the only players to win the FedEx Cup twice (2016), and the Northern Irishman also won the Players Championship and the RBC Canadian Open while leading the Tour in adjusted scoring average (69.057), top-10s (14) and total strokes gained (2.551).

Rory McIlroy
Aug 25: Rory McIlroy celebrates with the FedEx Cup after winning the Tour Championship. (Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports)

Voting for the award was open to players who competed in at least 15 official FedEx Cup events during the 2018-19 season.

While the Tour does not release vote totals and announced McIlroy the winner over Koepka, Matt Kuchar and Xander Schauffele in alphabetical order, it was long considered a two-man race between McIlroy and Koepka. For all of his accomplishments last season, McIlroy did not claim a major title while Koepka won the PGA Championship and remains the top-ranked player in the world.

McIlroy, 30, also won the Jack Nicklaus Award as Player of the Year in 2012 and 2014. He is only the third player to win the Players, a major, the FedEx Cup and a Wold Golf Championship event in a career, joining Woods and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

“On behalf of the PGA Tour, my congratulations to Rory McIlroy on being voted the 2019 PGA Tour Player of the Year by the TOUR’s membership,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “While there are a number of honors one can receive in this game, PGA Tour Player of the Year has to be among the most satisfying as it comes directly from his peers. Rory’s season was a model of consistency punctuated by milestone victories and ultimately the FedEx Cup in Atlanta.”

Sungjae Im. (Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports)

South Korea’s Sungjae Im, the only rookie to qualify for the Tour Championship, will receive the Arnold Palmer Award – renamed this year as a tribute to Palmer.

The 21-year-old tied for 19th in the FedEx Cup standings, and joins Stewart Cink (1996-97) as the only players to be named the Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year and PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in consecutive seasons. Im made 26 of 35 cuts during his rookie season, recording seven top-10s, with his best finish a T3 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Im beat out Cameron Champ, Adam Long, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff.

“Congratulations to Sungjae on being voted 2019 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year,” said Monahan. “His ‘Ironman’ season was remarkably consistent from start-to-finish, and his fellow players raved about his all-around game throughout the year. Like so many Korn Ferry Tour graduates, he arrived on the PGA TOUR prepared to compete with the world’s best, and his season was a reflection of a maturity beyond his 21 years.”

–Derek Harper (@DerekAHarper), Field Level Media