Jon Rahm voted 2019 European Tour Golfer of the Year


LONDON, England – Jon Rahm has edged out Shane Lowry to be named 2019 Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year. Rahm adds the award to this year’s Race to Dubai title he picked up in the United Arab Emirates two weeks ago.

A prestigious panel comprising members of the golf media picked Rahm over Lowry in a close-run contest, despite Lowry winning this year’s Open Championship and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The 25-year-old Spaniard won three times on this year’s European Tour schedule, including the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, defended his Spanish Open title and then won the final event of the 2019 season, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai to finish the season as European No. 1.

Rahm became only the second Spaniard after Seve Ballesteros in 1991 to win the Harry Vardon Trophy by ending a European season as No. 1. He becomes the third Spaniard after Ballesteros (1986, 88, 91) and Sergio Garcia (2017) to receive the European Tour’s Golfer of the Year award.

Aside from his three wins, Rahm was runner-up in the BMW PGA Championship and Estralla Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters, third in the U.S. Open and ninth in the Masters.

“It is a huge honor for me to be named the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year,” said Rahm, whose award was announced at a lunch held at the Biltmore Mayfair Hotel in London. “To emulate another of Seve’s achievements in winning this award is very humbling. I’m so proud of what I have achieved this year.”

Lowry’s performance at Royal Portrush alone nearly earned him the award. However, Rahm proved more consistent throughout the year. The Spaniard beat the Irishman in every statistical category on the European tour with the exception of one. Lowry hit 73.09 percent of greens in regulation to rank 11th. Rahm was 14th with a 72.63 percent average. However, the Spaniard ranked second in stroke average with 68.75 per round. Lowry was 20th with 70.07. Rahm also placed second in putts per green in regulation while Lowry was sixth.

The Spaniard was fifth in driving accuracy, hitting the fairway 68.5 percent of the time, while Lowry ranked 114th with a 56.84 percent average. The former ASU player was longer off the tee, too. He ranked eighth with 312.32 yards per drive. Lowry was 79th with a 297.88 average. The biggest discrepancy came in sand saves. Rahm got up and down 66.66 percent of the time to rank fifth. Lowry placed 188th with a 39.47 percent conversion rate.

Rahm’s PGA Tour performances were also better. He had 11 top 10s while Lowry had four, including his Open victory and second in the Canadian Open.

“The 2019 European Tour season had so many stand-out moments, not least the dramatic finale at the DP World Tour Championship, when Jon earned his place in European Tour history,” European chief executive Keith Pelley said.

“For Jon to win the Race to Dubai in the manner he did, with so much pressure on that final hole, simply underlines what a fantastic competitor he is. However, this award also recognizes the incredible strength in depth we have on the European Tour, in that there were a number of worthy contenders, including Shane Lowry who narrowly missed out despite winning The Open and a Rolex Series event in Abu Dhabi.”

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