London—Veteran Lee Westwood has been named European Golfer of the Year for the fourth time, over 20 years after he first won the award.
The 47-year-old Englishman rediscovered his old form in 2020, beginning when he won the Abu Dhabi Championship in January to make him the first active golfer to win a tour event across four separate decades.
He rounded off the coronavirus-affected season by winning the Race to Dubai after finishing runner-up to Matt Fitzpatrick in the World Tour Championship earlier this month.
He was the oldest ever winner of the Race to Dubai at 47 years, seven months and 20 days.
The one thing Westwood still lacks is a Major.
Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington said based on his form this year, Westwood could entertain dreams of playing in next year’s Europe v USA contest which would be his 11th appearance.
“I am very honoured and extremely flattered to have been named European Tour Golfer of the Year as I know the competition for the award this year would have been extremely high,” said Westwood, who also won the award in 1998, 2000 and 2009.
“Thank you to the media for voting for me and also huge congratulations again to everyone at the European Tour who did a tremendous job this year managing to put on a full international schedule under such difficult times.”
Meanwhile, world number one Ko Jin-young pulled away from second-ranked Kim Sei-young with five back-nine birdies Sunday to win the LPGA’s season-ending Tour Championship by five strokes.
Ko, who was playing just her fourth LPGA event of the pandemic-disrupted season, had only squeezed into the elite field with a tie for second on Monday at the US Women’s Open.
But the 25-year-old South Korean made the most of her opportunity, firing seven birdies in her six-under par 66 at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
She rolled in a final birdie at the 72nd hole for an 18-under total of 270 and a convincing win over Kim and Australian Hannah Green, who shared second on 275.
The $1.1 million winner’s prize — down from $1.5 million last year but still the biggest in women’s golf in 2020 — put Ko atop the money list for the year.