Rory McIlroy has secured the coveted Harry Vardon trophy without even hitting a ball after Brooks Koepka’s win at the Turkish Airlines Open ensured no one can catch him in this week’s DP World Tour Championship, the final event of the European Tour season.
McIlroy has now topped the European Tour’s money list twice in the last three seasons, making him the youngest player to achieve such a feat, as he enjoyed a fantastic season, taking his major haul to four with wins in the Open Championship and PGA Championship.
He also enjoyed success in a World Golf Championship and the BMW PGA Championship for the first time.
"I feel like I’ve really earned the Race to Dubai." - Rory McIlroy
While it would have been a major injustice for McIlroy to not win the trophy, the possibility remained until the second last week of the season as McIlroy missed the first three events of the European Tour’s Final Series to prepare for a trial against his former representation, Horizon Sports Management, next year.
“This has obviously been the best season of my career by a long way, and to win the Race to Dubai for the second time really is something truly special” said McIlroy. “That four-week spell over the summer, from the Open to the US PGA Championship, would have to be the best golf of my life, so I feel like I’ve really earned the Race to Dubai.
“Winning it for the first time two years ago was a fantastic feeling, but I feel like I’m now a more complete player and my all-round game has moved to another level. I’ve put in a lot of hard work this season, with my game and my fitness, so it’s nice to get the rewards at the end of it.”
George O’Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “Given the extraordinary success that Rory has achieved, it is only right that the season should culminate in him winning the Harry Vardon trophy for the second time, and it would be no surprise to anyone if he were to end his campaign with another win Dubai. He is a credit to both himself and the European Tour, and a most deserving winner of the Race to Dubai.”
Will McIlroy win the career grand slam in 2015?
With the 2014 European Tour season drawing to a close this weekend, thoughts are turning to 2015. Do you think Rory will mark his name in history at Augusta next April? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.