PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Rory McIlroy is the PGA Tour player of the year, and even he was a little surprised.
In a vote of the players, McIlroy won the Jack Nicklaus Award over Brooks Koepka. It was the third time McIlroy won the award, and the first time without having won a major.
“I’m at a loss for words,” McIlroy said Wednesday.
Moments earlier, McIlroy was sitting down with Nicklaus at The Bear’s Club in South Florida to receive the Byron Nelson Trophy for having the lowest adjusted scoring average when a bronze of the Nicklaus Award was placed on the table. McIlroy looked at it and said, “I’ve already got two of those,” he said.
“Well, you’ve got three now,” Nicklaus told him.
McIlroy won three times, including The Players Championship and the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup and its $15 million prize.
Koepka, who won the PGA of America’s player of the year based on points, was seen as the favorite for the award.
Sungjae Im of South Korea was voted PGA Tour rookie of the year. He is the first player to win the rookie award without winning a tournament since Rickie Fowler in 2010.
— The Associated Press