Rory McIlroy, 23, of Northern Ireland was voted PGA Tour player of the year by his peers.
McIlroy is voted PGA Tour
player of the year by peers
Rory McIlroy didn’t feel like the PGA Tour player of the year when he arrived at Kiawah Island in South Carolina for the final major tournament of the season. He had missed three cuts in his previous six events, had not contended in a major and had one victory.
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August and September changed everything for him.
McIlroy was announced Tuesday as player of the year. Although the PGA Tour does not disclose the vote of its players, this was the equivalent of a tap-in.
McIlroy wound up with four victories, including his eight-shot romp in the PGA Championship, and made a clean sweep of the biggest awards by winning the earnings title ($8,047,952) and having the lowest adjusted scoring average (68.873).
“It’s just a great way to end what has been a great year, my best season so far,” McIlroy said.
The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland became the youngest player to win PGA Tour player of the year since Tiger Woods did it at 21 in 1997. He is the third European to win in the last five years, joining Padraig Harrington of Ireland in 2008 and Luke Donald of England last year.
Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he was as impressed with McIlroy’s behavior off the course as his skill level inside the ropes.
“He has handled himself in terrific fashion,” Finchem said. “He has been very direct with the media and entertaining to the fans inside and outside the ropes. He is, at a very young age, already making a very solid contribution to what is the most important asset of the PGA Tour, and that is the image of its players. For that, I thank him.”
American John Huh, a 22-year-old who earned his card through qualifying school, was voted PGA Tour rookie of the year.
PSG, Schalke win groups
in UEFA Champions League
Paris Saint-Germain of France and Schalke of Germany wrapped up the top spots in their UEFA Champions League groups, and Cristiano Ronaldo scored his tournament-leading sixth goal to help Real Madrid of Spain beat Ajax of the Netherlands 4-1.
Play was completed in four of the eight groups.
Teams from those groups advancing to the final 16 in Europe’s most important club tournament are Group A winner Paris Saint-Germain, Group B winner Schalke, Real Madrid, Group C winner Malaga of Spain, Group D winner Borussia Dortmund of Germany, Porto of Portugal, Arsenal of England and AC Milan of Italy.
Dallas keeps ex-Husky John
FC Dallas of Major League Soccer has re-signed defender George John, a former standout for the Washington Huskies and Shorewood High School in Shoreline, to a multiyear contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
John, 25, has appeared in 95 matches for FC Dallas since the team picked him 14th overall in the 2009 MLS draft.
John started the season nine days after ending a two-month loan period with English Premier League team West Ham United.
NHL owners, players talk
The dueling sides in hockey’s labor fight met for nearly eight hours — over two long sessions — in New York on the 80th day of the lockout and have plans to meet Wednesday morning before the league’s planned board of governors gathering.
There were six owners and 18 players in the meeting room for a session that, as planned, did not include commissioner Gary Bettman or union head Donald Fehr.
• Canadian Guy Thibault, 48, has been selected to coach the U.S. short-track speedskating team, though interim coach Steven Gough will guide the athletes through the national championships, which end Dec. 22 in Kearns, Utah.
Gough was hired when Jae Su Chun resigned in October after skate-tampering and abuse allegations.
• The International Olympic Committee has suspended India’s national Olympic committee because of government interference in its election process.
• IOC officials warned organizers of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they must attack the project “with all vigor” to ensure the first Games in South America are a success.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said, “Our message remains: There is time, but time is ticking, and they need to carry on attacking this one with all vigor.”
• Austrian skier Max Franz, 23, said he will be out for up to three weeks because of head injuries he suffered in a crash at Saturday’s World Cup super-giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo.
• Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley, 39, was fired, a week after he was named in a federal investigation of a man accused of running a gambling operation in Oklahoma City.
Seattle Times news services