Shane Lowry has topped the closest poll in recent memory to win the prestigious 2019 Golf Writers Trophy, the leading award given by the Association of Golf Writers.
The 32-year-old Irishman pipped Europe’s victorious Solheim Cup team by just two votes
in a poll of AGW members after enjoying the best year of his career.
Lowry won his first major with a victory in the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush amid emotional scenes in the event’s first staging at the County Antrim venue since 1951.
The Clara man also won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, a Rolex Series event, in January after firing a sensational 62 in the opening round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
“It is a huge personal honour for me to be voted as the 2019 Golfer of the Year by the Association of Golf Writers and it’s many members around the world,” said Lowry.
“To be chosen by the men and women who report on our game across the globe on a weekly basis is very special and it’s an honour to join the illustrious names on the Golf Writers Trophy, which includes many multiple major winners and Ryder Cup captains.
“I very much look forward to celebrating this award with all of the golf writers at the annual AGW dinner at Royal St George’s ahead of my Open Championship defence next summer.”
Lowry succeeds 2018 Open champion Francesco Molinari in receiving the Golf Writers Trophy. Other recent winners include Henrik Stenson (2016) and Rory McIlroy (2014 and 15).
“This year’s poll was very close and that was no surprise after Europe’s sensational Solheim Cup success over the United States in the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles,” said AGW Chairman Martin Dempster.
“Led by Catriona Matthew on home soil, the European players dug deep to deny the US a third straight win in the biennial event, with Suzann Pettersen delivering one of the most memorable moments of the decade as she held her nerve to hole the winning putt.
“However, there can be no denying that Shane Lowry had a year to cherish. His performance as he completed his first major victory at Royal Portrush was outstanding.
“Cheered on by a huge home support on the Antrim coast, he followed opening rounds of 67-67 with a superb 63 in the third round and went on to win by six shots from Tommy Fleetwood after closing with a 72 in tough conditions.
“His victory in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship earlier in the year was also very impressive as he returned to winning ways after a barren spell following his triumph in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in 2015.
“Shane has long been a popular figure among our members due to the fact he is always friendly and courteous and he is a worthy winner of this award.”
The Golf Writers Trophy is awarded each year to the person or persons, born or resident in Europe who, in the opinion of a majority of the AGW members, shall have made the most outstanding contribution to golf during the preceding twelve months.
Members are asked to nominate in order of preference three choices for the award. Other players who figured prominently in the voting this year included Race to Dubai winner Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy, a four-time victor in 2019.
The Golf Writers Trophy will be presented to Lowry at the AGWs 2020 annual dinner to be held next July and two days before he commences his defence of his Open Championship crown.