RORY McIlroy has become only the third golfer in history to be awarded the Association of Golf Writers’ trophy on three occasions.
The Holywood native joins legendary Spaniard Seve Ballesteros and Englishman Lee Westwood in winning the prize for a third time after taking the award for 2015, following on from success in 2012 and 2014.
McIlroy, who is ranked number three in the world, took the award in the same week he was named European Golfer of the Year.
He said: "When you think of the contributions that Seve and Lee made to European golf over the years, I am delighted to be linked with them at such an early age.”
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old has put his form down to fiancée Erica Stoll, who he says has allowed him to relax in both his professional and personal life.
“For me, Erica brings such a level of normality to everything,” he said. “She has a calming presence, a sereneness and that’s not just on me; it is noticeable in any company.
“She has been a great influence on me and has given such a great balance to my life; between who I am when people see me out here and who I am at home.”