Sergio Garcia’s dream year in professional golf has ended with him being named the European Tour Golfer of the Year.
The prestigious award is given to the player who has impressed the most—it was Garcia who was chosen for the accolade ahead of Tommy Fleetwood, this year’s Race to Dubai winner.
It caps a dream year for Garcia in which he finally ended his wait for a major when he won the 2017 Masters at Augusta in April and got married to fiancé Angela Adkins.
As well as Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Jon Rahm all had a year to remember—the quartet filled the top five places in the European Tour standings along with Garcia. But it was Garcia who edged the vote on the back of his Masters success to be named European Tour Golfer of the Year for the first time.
An unbelievable year
“It has been a unique and unbelievable year, and one that I will definitely remember for the rest of my life,” Garcia said. “I am so happy to receive the award given the incredible calibre of players like Tommy, Justin, Tyrrell Hatton and Jon Rahm.”
He added: “With the five of us filling the top five places in the Race to Dubai, it shows the real strength of the European Tour, and hopefully we can show that strength at the Ryder Cup in Paris next year.”
Garcia’s year started with an early victory when winning the Dubai Desert Classic in February, a win that set himself up nicely for the biggest weekend of his life at Augusta.
In what was his 74th appearance, Garcia finally achieved his dream of winning one of golf’s four majors when he overcame Rose on the first hole of a sudden death play-off at Augusta. The win coincided with what would have been the 60th birthday of mentor Seve Ballesteros.
Other worthy triumphs
Garcia went on to win again in the Andalucia Masters, which he hosts, in October—but not before he had become a married man. He wed Golf Channel reporter Adkins in a summertime ceremony.
Fleetwood won twice on the European Tour this year in what has been a breakthrough season, but his victories in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and French Open—along with his Race To Dubai title—weren’t enough to earn him the Golfer of the Year accolade.
Having lost that Masters play-off to Garcia, Rose ended the year with back-to-back victories in the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open before narrowly failing to pip Fleetwood to the European Tour Order of Merit.
Hatton also won twice in successive weeks in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, in which he successfully defended his title, and the Italian Open. Rahm, on the other hand, achieved three wins across the year. The Spaniard won the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA TOUR in January and also triumphed in the Irish Open in July and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in November.
But it was Garcia getting that famous green jacket at Augusta that swayed the decision in his favour.
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