Rory McIlroy has won the Golf Writers Trophy for 2012 after a magnificent season which saw him finish the year as the undisputed world No 1.
The 23-year-old Northern Irishman topped the annual poll ahead of Europe’s Ryder Cup team, Ian Poulter, Roger Chapman and theGreat Britainand Ireland Curtis Cup team.
McIlroy said: “The 2012 season was a superb one for every aspect of European golf and that comes across when you look at the names of the players in contention for the Golf Writers Trophy this year – therefore to come out on top of that list is a great honour.
“Throughout the year, wherever we play, the golf writers are there helping to promote our sport and give a voice to golf and, therefore, I am delighted to win their award. I hope to give them plenty more good things to write about in 2013.”
McIlroy won his second major title at the USPGA Championship atKiawahIslandby eight strokes, claimed four other victories, including the DP World Tour Championship,Dubaiwith five birdies over the last five holes, and did the double of winning the money list on the PGA Tour and the Race toDubaititle on the European Tour.
While McIlroy earned almost 50 percent of the first-place votes, the poll reflected the range of achievements by European golfers in 2012. McIlroy also claimed a part of second place as a memberEurope’s Ryder Cup team. Captained by Jose Maria Olazabal and inspired by the late Seve Ballesteros,Europeengineered a thrilling comeback from 10-4 down to win by a single point at Medinah.
Poulter was one of the key architects of the comeback as he made five birdies in a row to win a vital fourball match alongside McIlroy on Saturday evening. Once again showing his passion for team competition, the Englishman won all four of his contests at Medinah and went on to win his second World Golf Championship at the HSBC Champions.
Chapman, 53, enjoyed a fairy-tale season when he won the Senior PGA Championship and the US Senior Open, a double only previously achieved by Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin. Chapman ended the year by clinching the John Jacobs Trophy as winner of the European Senior Tour Order of Merit.
Great BritainandIrelandwon the Curtis Cup for the first time in 16 years and made history at Nairn by bringing all four of the main transatlantic trophies – Ryder, Solheim, Walker and Curtis Cups – toEuropefor the first time. Under captain Tegwen Matthews, GB&I recovered from losing all three matches in the opening session and still trailed heading into the singles but went on to seal a one-point victory.
Voted on by members of the Association of Golf Writers and dating back to 1951, the award recognises the most outstanding achievements during the year of golfers born or resident inEurope, and European teams. This is the fourth time in the last six years that the trophy has crossed theIrish Seawith Padraig Harrington winning in 2007 and 2008, and Graeme McDowell in 2010.
Also featuring in the voting this year were Carlota Ciganda, Paul Lawrie, Justin Rose, Mel Reid, Luke Donald, Suzann Pettersen, Martin Kaymer,Matteo Manassero,GeorgiaHall and Lee Westwood.
Past Winners of Golf Writers Trophy
1951 – Max Faulkner
1952 – Miss Elizabeth Price
1953 – Joe Carr
1954 – Frances Stephens
1955 – LGU Junior team (B Bostock, c)
1956 – John Beharrell
1957 – Dai Rees
1958 – Harry Bradshaw
1959 – Eric Brown
1960 – Sir Stuart Goodwin
1961 – Cdr. RCT Roe
1962 – Marley Spearman
1963 – Michael Lunt
1964 – Eisenhower Trophy team (J Carr, c)
1965 – Gerald Micklem
1966 – Ronnie Shade
1967 – John Panton
1968 – Michael Bonallack
1969 – Tony Jacklin
1970 – Tony Jacklin
1971 – Walker Cup team (M Bonallack, c)
1972 – Mickey Walker
1973 – Peter Oosterhuis
1974 – Peter Oosterhuis
1975 – The Golf Foundation
1976 – Eisenhower Trophy team (S Saddler, c)
1977 – Christy O’Connor Sen.
1978 – Peter McEvoy
1979 – Severiano Ballesteros
1980 – Sandy Lyle
1981 – Bernhard Langer
1982 – Gordon Brand Jnr
1983 – Nick Faldo
1984 – Severiano Ballesteros
1985 – Ryder Cup team (T Jacklin, c)
1986 – Curtis Cup team (D Bailey, c)
1987 – Ryder Cup team (T Jacklin, c)
1988 – Sandy Lyle
1989 – Walker Cup team (G Marks, c)
1990 – Nick Faldo
1991 – Severiano Ballesteros
1992 – Solheim Cup team (M Walker, c)
1993 – Bernhard Langer
1994 – Laura Davies
1995 – Ryder Cup team (B Gallacher, c)
1996 – Colin Montgomerie
1997 – Alison Nicholas
1998 – Lee Westwood
1999 – Sergio Garcia
2000 – Lee Westwood
2001 – Walker Cup team (P McEvoy, c)
2002 – Ryder Cup team (S Torrance, c)
2003 – Annika Sorenstam
2004 – Ryder Cup team (B Langer, c)
2005 – Annika Sorenstam
2006 – Ryder Cup team (I Woosnam, c)
2007 – Padraig Harrington
2008 – Padraig Harrington
2009 – Lee Westwood
2010 – Graeme McDowell
2011 – Luke Donald
2012 – Rory McIlroy