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

Rory McIlroy

Any golfer who competed in at least 15 FedExCup events was eligible to vote for the award.

Branden Grace is flying the South African flag in a field led by Americans Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson, while a few other big names take a break, including Brooks Koepka of the US and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy was more consistent with 14 top-10s in 19 starts to Koepka's nine top-10s in 21 starts.McIlroy turned in big time wins (The Players, RBC Canadian, Tour Championship), but so did Koepka (CJ Cup, PGA Championship, WGC FedEx St. Jude). What stood out the most in Koepka's season, however, were the majors. He finished tied for second at the Masters in April, won the PGA Championship for the second straight year at Bethpage Black in May, finished solo second at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in June and tied for fourth at the Open Championship in July. Not knowing the vote total or even how many players opened the email from headquarters leads to inevitable and unfortunate questions.

Rory McIlroy has been named PGA Tour Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season.

There's no event on the Sunshine Tour this week as the next stop on the local circuit will be the Vodacom Origins of Golf Humewood in the Eastern Cape on September 26. Why do we play 25 times a year when only four weeks are really important? Koepka already had won the PGA of America's Player of the Year award - determined by a points system- and will undoubtedly win the Golf Writers Association of America's year-end vote based on his major championship play. "We play for more than just what the narrative suggests". He has finished in the top five in the last five majors championships, including all four this past season.

Was there any kind of internal campaign to validate McIlroy's season as a Players and FedEx Cup victor, both events owned by the players and compensating them in very lucrative fashion? "I feel like I'm a better play now than I was in 2014, and that gives me a lot going forward". There hasn't been this much debate about the award since 2003, when Woods won over Vijay Singh.

Sung-jae Im, the only rookie who qualified for the Tour Championship, was voted PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. He was the only rookie to reach the Tour Championship, and while he didn't win, he began the PGA Tour's postseason at No. 23 in the FedEx Cup.

Several rookies are making their official PGA Tour debuts, and a handful are among the favorites to win the tournament.

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