McIlroy to play 2020 Irish Open if it's held in May

Paola Ditto
Settembre 13, 2019

McIlroy also added 14 top-10 finishes. He also said he was "somewhat surprised" to win and the normally eloquent 30-year-old stumbled through an answer attempting to explain why he was caught off-guard by the news. Including his FedEx Cup and Wyndham Reward bonuses, McIlroy won $24.3 million last season, the most in Tour history.

"I think that's a huge vote of confidence from the players that we play for more than just, you know, maybe what the narrative suggests".

Koepka, who beat McIlroy in the final group for a World Golf Championship among his three titles, was thought to be a shoo-in for his second straight Jack Nicklaus Award until the Tour Championship.

After claiming the PGA Tour Player of the Year gong for a third time this week, he said his 2020 plans are similar to those of this summer, but that an earlier date would see him compete at the yet to be confirmed venue. But, that doesn't mean the players don't treat it as one.

"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.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt during the final round the final round of the European Masters golf tournament in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Sunday, September 1, 2019.

Head-to-head Koepka was a whopping 21 strokes better in the three majors where McIlroy made the cut.

Which brings us back to the bots. That's why Dustin Johnson's 20 PGA tour wins impress tour pros more than they impress media and fans. Players just don't feel only four weeks are important.

Without transparency, the PGA Tour takes what should be a fun, 19 hole debate and encourages imaginations to run wild. Aside from the obvious question of whether McIlroy should or shouldn't have won the award, it's interesting to analyze what this tells us about the players on tour.

Did it come down to a popularity contest, with the friendly McIlroy edging the sometimes gruff Koepka?

For world No. 10 Bryson DeChambeau, the highest-ranked player in the field, the event is an opportunity to follow Woods's instructions to his President's Cup players to keep sharp in the buildup to the event. They often undermine the tournaments as no one enjoys or respects the hard sell.

McIlroy's peers may simply have felt consistency trumped major play - even historically astounding numbers in majors by Koepka - and that's fine. It is only the third time player of the year honorees were different: Nick Faldo (PGA) and Wayne Levi (PGA Tour) in 1990 and Corey Pavin (PGA) and Fred Couples (PGA Tour) in 1991 were the other occasions.

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