Rory McIlroy said he didn't consider himself a true rookie, so he wasn’t bothered that PGA Tour members voted Rickie Fowler the Tour’s rookie of the year. Fowler didn’t win a tournament this year, while McIlroy won against a world-class field at Quail Hollow (with a 62 on Sunday) and finished third at the British Open and the PGA Championship.
However, the snub didn’t sit well with McIlroy’s friend Lee Westwood, the No. 1 player in the world. His outrage couldn’t be contained in Twitter's rigid 140-character limit:
“Sorry 140 letters is not going to be enough for this rant! Just seen Ricky Fowler has been given rookie of the year! Yes he's had a good year but rory mcilroy 3rd in 2 majors and an absolute demolition of the field at quail hollow! Oh yes and on the winning Ryder cup team! Please! Is this yet another case of protectionism by the pga tour or are they so desperate to win something! Wouldn't have something to do with Rory not joining the tour next year? Maybe the PGA tour just employs the same voting process as FIFA! Come on, fairs fair!”
Westwood’s charge of protectionism by PGA Tour members has some merit. McIlroy decided to play on the European Tour instead of the PGA Tour next year, and the snub does feel like payback considering Andres Romero won the PGA Tour rookie of the year in 2008 despite having played on the European Tour since 2006. McIlroy has played on the European Tour since 2007. According to The Associated Press, Dustin Johnson couldn’t believe McIlroy didn’t win the award.
Dustin Johnson, who said he did not vote, was not aware the award had been announced Saturday night.
"He's going to get votes because he had a decent year," Johnson said of Fowler. "But McIlroy is going to win. He's got to win."
Told the result, Johnson added, "Rickie won? Maybe he's an American. I don't know why."
G-Mac has mile-high party with Poulter after Chevron win What’s it like being four shots behind Tiger Woods at the start of the day? For Graeme McDowell, it takes the pressure off.
My attitude was more bring it on. It's been great season. I was going out there today with absolutely nothing to lose. I figured he probably had more to lose than I did today. You know, four shots back, I've had a dream season. It didn't matter what was going to happen today, I was going to have a cold beer tonight and go, You know what? It's been a great season.
McDowell ended up having champagne with his beer, as Ian Poulter posted on Twitter last night: “On the plane having a beer with the winner GMac well done mate let the party begin.” Yup, that looks like Jim Furyk in the back. Stray Shots: Stuff we saw while thinking that there was nothing silly about Sunday’s thrilling Woods-McDowell match…
The Australasian PGA Tour might fine Greg Norman for criticizing the greens at the Australian Open. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? (Via The Sydney Morning Herald)
Fred Couples made the drive up to Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Sunday to cheer on his friend Tiger Woods at the Chevron World Challenge. "I got in this morning and drove up here. I watched [Woods] for the first six holes, but there were 8-, 10,000 people out there. I just came up to support him." (Via The Los Angeles Daily News) Waggleroom’s Emily Kay has some advice for Tiger Woods’s caddie Steve Williams, who prematurely shed his bib when his boss hit an 8-iron to three feet on the 18th hole Sunday: “Keep your shirt on next time, Bub.” Follow Mike Walker on Twitter