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

McIlroy tops Koepka for PGA Tour player of the year

The Holywood star beat Brooks Koepka (as well Matt Kuchar and Xander Schauffele) in a vote of his peers, claiming his third Jack Nicklaus Award from the Golden Bear himself after an incredibly consistent season that brought him three wins and the FedEx Cup title, but no Majors.

Im Sung-Jae of South Korea was named the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, lifting the renamed Arnold Palmer Award.

"Brooks has had an incredible year, an incredible three years, really", McIlroy said of the award. Not for his major record alone, but for how it further highlights McIlroy's major miscues.

Also new, the tour this season has reduced the number of players who will make the cut from the top 70 players and those tied to the top 65 and ties. I think this speaks volumes about what PGA Tour players feel is important. "I feel like I'm a better play now than I was in 2014, and that gives me a lot going forward". The caveat here for McIlroy, of course, is that it can be the unofficial whatever, but it's technically not a major. But, that doesn't mean the players don't treat it as one. Or maybe McIlroy did not want to admit he voted for Koepka, just what you'd expect from a player growing increasingly humble and grounded despite a swollen bank account and a hard-earned knack for hitting 340-yard drives. He had 16 top-25s and seven top-10s in 35 events.

Koepka is not alone. Why do we play 25 times a year when only four weeks are really important?

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The Tour doesn't disclose the results of the votes, only the victor.

There's the KLM Open teeing off at The International in the capital of Holland on Thursday, and the Greenbrier Classic at White Sulphur Springs for the resumption of the PGA Tour.

DeChambeau said he planned to play four tournaments before the Presidents Cup and will be hoping for the same kind of early-season success he had a year ago when he won his first tournament of the campaign at TPC Summerlin last November. But on one hand you have one of the most well-liked players of his generation, and on the other you have a player who made a point to tell the world he only bothers to practice before majors. None of that should matter and almost every player I've spoken to is mightily impressed by Koepka and sees his mental fortitude as something to strive for.

Whatever the reason, the happiest guy on Wednesday was probably Koepka, because the chip on his shoulder is secure for another year.

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.

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