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McIlroy, Hadley win PGA Tour honors

Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – Rory McIlroy was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year on Wednesday, while Chesson Hadley captured Rookie of the Year honors.

PGA Tour members who played in at least 15 official money events this past season were eligible to vote.

“My congratulations to Rory and Chesson for their outstanding accomplishments that earned them season-ending honors from their peers,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem in a statement. “Both players earned their awards with their consistent and steady play throughout the season.”

McIlroy, a two-time major champion in 2014, was selected over fellow major winners Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, as well as FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel and Jimmy Walker.

It’s the second Player of the Year award for McIlroy in the past three seasons. In 2012, he became the youngest player to win the honor since Tiger Woods in 1999.

“Thanks everyone for all the @PGATOUR Player of the Year congrats!” McIlroy wrote on Twitter. “Always an honour for your hard work to be recognised by your peers!”

Now 25, McIlroy won three times on the PGA Tour this year and did so in consecutive events. He captured the British Open and followed it up with a victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before claiming the PGA Championship during the summer.

McIlroy also had two runner-up finishes — first at the Honda Classic and again at the Tour Championship. He had a tour-best 12 top-10 finishes and was not outside the top-25 in any of his 17 events.

The native of Northern Ireland became the third European to win the award, which was first presented in 1990 and is named for Jack Nicklaus, following Ireland’s Padraig Harrington in 2008 and England’s Luke Donald in 2011. He’s also the fourth multiple winner, joining Tiger Woods, who has a record 11, and two-time winners Greg Norman and Nick Price.

Hadley earned top rookie honors thanks to a win at the Puerto Rico Open and a trio of top-10 finishes. He was the only rookie to advance to the BMW Championship, the third of the four events in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and finished 58th on the official money list.

The 27-year-old native of North Carolina joined Stewart Cink in 1997 and Michael Clark II in 2000 as products of Georgia Tech to claim the honor.

Hadley was selected for the award over Victor Dubuisson and Brooks Koepka.

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