Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Westwood voted Golfer of 2009

Lee Westwood, winner of the inaugural Race to Dubai, has been named by his fellow professionals as the winner of The European Tour Players’ Player of the Year Award for 2009.The 36 year old Englishman hit a rich vein of form towards the end of last season, winning the Portugal Masters in October before storming to a six shot victory in the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by: DP World which lifted him to the top of The Race to Dubai with record European Tour earnings for a single season of €4,237,762. Being crowned European Number One for the second time was a fitting end to an impressively consistent season in which he had 13 top ten finishes and came agonisingly close to a maiden Major Championship victory, finishing tied third in both The Open Championship at Turnberry and the US PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club. “I am delighted to have been recognised by my fellow European Tour professionals and would like to thank everybody who voted for me,” said Westwood, who was presented with the award prior to the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship where he will commence his 2010 season. “As always, I was surrounded by many great professionals on the Tour last year and I am honoured to have played alongside such great competitors and friends. “It was a fantastic season – not just for me but everybody involved with The European Tour and the inaugural Race to Dubai. Of course, winning the Dubai World Championship and the Race was an unbelievable moment for me personally and one that will live with me forever. I am very excited about starting the new season and seeing what 2010 will bring.” Westwood was presented with the specially commissioned solid silver salver by Thomas Björn, The European Tour’s Tournament Committee Chairman. “All the players on The European Tour are delighted to have Lee Westwood as their Player of the Year,” said Björn. “He had a fantastic season, culminating obviously with his win in the Dubai World Championship, but this award is also a recognition of his consistently fine performances around the world over the last two or three years. He is back to his winning ways in style and we are all very proud that Lee is The European Tour Players’ Player for 2009.” The award was conceived in 2008 and the salver, handmade at the London workshop of Thomas Lyte Ltd, features a pattern denoting the national flowers of each of the countries who have a player competing on The European Tour. The central section features the unmistakeable profile and swing of Seve Ballesteros – the inspiration behind the award – accompanied by an emotive comment by John Jacobs, the Founding Father of The European Tour, about Seve’s influence. “Seve’s supreme talent, flair and passion for golf inspired millions around the world,” it reads. Ireland’s Padraig Harrington was the inaugural winner of the award in 2008 following his Major Championship triumphs that year in The Open at Royal Birkdale and the US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

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