Brooks Koepka might have won PGA Tour Player of the Year on Monday, but runner up Rory McIlroy got a nice consolation prize. McIlroy won the Tour Championship on Sunday and claimed $15 million.
Besides McIlroy picked up some hardware on Monday. He won the Vardon Trophy, awarded to the player with the best scoring average across the year.
Koepka won the honor for the second consecutive year, though he and McIlroy’s record were comparable. Koepka successfully defended his 2018 PGA Championship, and won the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges and the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
“This year was very, very consistent,” Koepka said. “I felt like every time I needed to, I played well.”
McIlroy’s year was strong as well. The Irishman didn’t win a major, but was the victor at the Players Championship, Canadian Open, and the Tour Championship.
“I think some of the work that I’ve put in on the mental side of the game and some of the things I’ve been doing, I definitely think you’re starting to see the fruition of that, I guess,” McIlroy said. “Even winning the Players at the start of the year, the Players is a tournament I’ve never won before, but I just did my job. I went out there and played solid golf and got the job done.”
Playing with Lead Hard for Thomas
While people were clamoring about how the scoring system was flawed for the Fed Ex Cup points leader, the golfer who started in the lead last Thursday didn’t see it as much of an edge.
Justin Thomas began the first round at 10-under par, two shots ahead of second-place points leader Patrick Cantlay.
Funny as it sounds, Thomas found it difficult playing with a lead.
“It was really weird and hard teeing off on Thursday ahead of everybody,” Thomas said. “I don’t know how everybody else feels, but I had a pretty hard time playing the normal way that I play. It’s hard to just imagine everybody starts at zero when you don’t. So that was tough.”
Thomas ultimately finished tied for third with Koepka.
Thorbjorn Olesen Pleads Not Guilty
Thorbjorn Olesen was in a British courtroom last week, pleading not guilty to a series of crimes including sexual assault, assault by beating, and being drunk on an aircraft. The incident occurred at the end of July as the Danish golfer was flying from Tennessee to London after the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, where he was 100/1 to win, and finished tied for 27th. He was flying in first class with fellow golfer Ian Poulter.
Sometime during the transatlantic flight he allegedly became drunk and argued with other passengers. When members of the crew intervened, he verbally assaulted them. He then apparently urinated in the aisle, and also allegedly tried to sexually assault a woman sleeping on the plane.
Authorities were waiting for Olesen when the plane landed and took him into custody. The 29-year-old has been suspended from playing on the European Tour until the outcome of the case.