Graeme McDowell reckons Rory McIlroy should have been handed the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award.

American Rickie Fowler was a controversial winner for some, including world No 1 Lee Westwood, who accused the PGA Tour of “protectionism”.

McDowell agrees with his former stablemate, telling BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast: “You can’t really compare Rickie Fowler’s season to Rory’s. Rory, what is he, 11th in the world now?

“He’s one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen. To win Quail Hollow in the style he did, to be challenging in major championships at the young age of 21 years old, I certainly think he was deserving of Rookie of the Year.

“But, at the end of the day it’s just a title - it’s nothing. Rory McIlroy will go on, I believe he will become one of the best players in the world - if not the best player - and win major championships.

“I certainly agree with Lee that Rory was a lot more deserving than Rickie Fowler.”

McDowell will wind down his dream season this when he tees it up with Darren Clarke in the Shark Shootout in Florida.

But while he has indicated that he will return to action on the PGA Tour in January, he has yet to reveal which equipment company he will use.

His deal with Callaway runs out at the end of the year and Golfweek reports that negotiations have broken down and a new set of clubs will be in the bag in 2011.