SERGIO GARCIA has been named the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year for the first time.
The Spaniard has enjoyed a fantastic year on the global stage, winning three times on the European Tour, including his first Major championship at Augusta National in April.
The 37-year-old defeated Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose in a play-off to become just the third Spaniard to win the famous Green Jacket, following in the footsteps of Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal.
“This is an amazing honour,” said Garcia.
“I think both on and off the golf course it has been a unique and unbelievable year, and one that I will definitely remember my whole life.”
Garcia’s 2017 European Tour campaign got off to the perfect start with a wire-to-wire victory in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February, his first European Tour title in three seasons.
Just two months later, Garcia became the 26th European Tour member to win a Major championship.
Having previously recorded 22 top 10 finishes, the Spaniard produced a magnificent display to beat Englishman Justin Rose in a playoff on a final day that will go down in Masters folklore.
In October, Garcia completed a remarkable season as he lifted his third title of the year on home soil with victory at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, hosted by his own foundation.
He was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour, as well as of Real Club Valderrama, during the tournament week and ended it with the trophy, as he continued his love affair with one of Europe’s top golf courses by claiming a one stroke victory over Dutchman Joost Luiten.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “Sergio is a wonderful ambassador for our game and an incredible talent, so it was no surprise his victory in the Masters Tournament proved so popular with golf fans around the world.
“That alone was a remarkable achievement, but to also win two other prestigious titles in 2017, including his home tournament at Valderrama, makes it a simply sensational season, and he is a thoroughly deserving winner of the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Year award.”