Scheffler beats McIlroy and LIV Golf rebel Smith to PGA Tour Player of the Year award

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Scottie Scheffler received an overwhelming majority of the votes as he was named PGA Tour Player of the Year for 2022.

Scheffler, the world number one, has enjoyed a brilliant year, winning his first major title at The Masters in April.

The 26-year-old won in four of his first six starts this year, becoming the first player since Jason Day in the 2014-15 season to do so, and finished T2 at the US Open alongside Will Zalatoris, one shot back from champion Matt Fitzpatrick.

Other than his triumph at Augusta, Scheffler won the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, the Phoenix Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Only the great Tiger Woods (eight victories) has previously won four tournaments, including a major and a WGC competition, in the same season.

Scheffler was presented with the Jack Nicklaus Award live on ESPN's College GameDay ahead of the college football meeting between the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday.

A Dallas native, Scheffler received 89 per cent of the votes to clinch the award ahead of Rory McIlroy and Cameron Smith. He is the first player to win the Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year, PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and PGA Tour Player of the Year.

"On behalf of the PGA Tour, congratulations to Scottie on his remarkable season and his unprecedented achievements," said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in a statement.

"Undoubtedly, one of the highest compliments a player can receive is the endorsement from his peers, and the fact that Scottie's season was both dominant and consistent spoke volumes to the membership.

"As gratifying as it has been to see his development on the course over the last several years, we are equally thankful that Scottie has embraced the role as an ambassador of the PGA Tour and the game of golf. With young stars like Scottie leading the way, the PGA Tour is in great hands for many years to come."

Scheffler finished the 2021-22 season with 11 top-10 finishes in 25 starts, though he was just pipped to the FedEx Cup title by McIlroy.

The Northern Irishman won three tournaments over the course of the season, and became a de facto spokesperson for the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf Invitational Series breakaway.

Smith - who like McIlroy recorded three victories, though unlike the world number three clinched a major title at The Open Championship - is one of the biggest names LIV Golf have lured away from the PGA Tour.