Harrington PGA Player of the Year
Ireland's Padraig Harrington becomes Europe's first PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2008 20:56 GMT

Padraig Harrington playing in September for Europe's Ryder Cup team [GALLO/GETTY]
Ireland's Padraig Harrington has become the first European to be voted PGA Tour Player of the Year.

The British Open and US PGA champion earned the coveted award over Vijay Singh of Fiji, Colombian Camilo Villegas and Americans Tiger Woods and Kenny Perry, the tour said in a statement.

US Open champion and world number one Woods, who ended his season in June in order to have reconstructive knee surgery, had been bidding to win the prestigious Jack Nicklaus Trophy for a record 10th time and a fourth consecutive year.

Germany's Bernhard Langer and Brendon de Jonge of Zimbabwe were also named by their fellow competitors as the respective players of the year on the Champions (senior) and Nationwide (second tier) tours.

Peer pressure

"I know this award means so much to all three players because it is bestowed upon them by their peers," said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

Harrington becomes the fourth non-American to receive the accolade since it started in 1990, emulating Zimbabwe's Nick Price (1993-94), Australian Greg Norman (1995) and Singh (2004).

Langer took the honours on the Champions Tour in his rookie season after winning three times and finishing with 14 top-10s.

He also collected the Arnold Palmer Award as the leading money winner on the circuit.

Argentina's Andres Romero, who won the New Orleans Classic, took the PGA Tour's rookie of the year accolade after a season that included top-10 finishes at the US Masters and US PGA Championship.

"He is one of many young, exciting players who were able to step up during Tiger Woods's absence last year," Finchem said.

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