Open champion Henrik Stenson has won the Golf Writers Trophy for the second time and been named European Tour "Player of the Year."
The award is voted by members of Association of Golf Writers and recognises the person or persons, born or resident in Europe, to have made the year’s most outstanding contribution to golf.
Having claimed his first major at the Open at Royal Troon by winning a thrilling duel with Phil Mickelson, Stenson won this award with an overwhelming majority in the voting. This was despite stiff competition from the Masters winner Danny Willett, Olympic champion Justin Rose and Alex Noren, who collected four European Tour titles in 2016.
In a stellar year, the 40 year old from Gothenburg also won the BMW International Open at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, Pulheim in Germany three weeks before his Open triumph. Stenson claimed eleven other top ten finishes in 2016 and secured the European Tour’s Race to Dubai for the second time. He was also the silver medalist behind Rose at the Rio Olympics.
“It is always a great honour to receive the Association's award,” said Stenson. “We talk about receiving recognition from your colleagues and your peers but in this instance it's great to be receiving that recognition from some of the most knowledgeable media in the sport.
“So it's wonderful to be chosen as their Golfer Writers Association Trophy winner and I feel very honoured to win the award for a second time in my career,” added Stenson, who first won this award in 2013.
“It's been a fantastic season for me winning my first Major at Royal Troon, winning the BMW International in Germany, winning a Silver medal at the Rio Games and finishing first again in the Race to Dubai.
“The manner I went about this year was very pleasing from start to finish. I know that the award is presented just before the 2017 Open, so it's going to be very nice being present at Royal Birkdale next July to relive all those great memories of what I achieved at Troon.
“It's been a great year for European golf and the European Tour and even though we didn't bring back the Ryder Cup, I look back knowing that winning the Open helped so much in winning the Race to Dubai.
“And while Danny has to be congratulated for winning the Masters, I again have to thank the Association of Golf Writers in voting me as their Golfer of the Year.
“I'll never grow tied of being weighed down with trophies!”
AGW President Goran Zachrisson, commentated on Stenson’s Open triumph for Swedish television. He said: “For Hernik to win the AGW Golfer of the Year award for a second time in four years speaks volumes, not only of Henrik's achievements on course in 2016, but for the very strong relationship he enjoys off course among those who report golf full time.
“And this much-deserved award comes on the back of Henrik becoming the first Swedish-born male golfer to be honoured with the Svenska Dagbladet’s gold medal for the most significant Swedish sporting achievement of 2016.”
AGW Chairman, BBC Golf Correspondent Iain Carter, said: “Not only is Henrik an outstanding golfer, but he is one of the game’s finest ambassadors. I think it is fair to say a great many of the the golf writers were thrilled that he secured his long awaited first major title and this was reflected in their voting.
“He won the Claret Jug in fantastic style by beating Phil Mickelson in an epic duel that left the rest of the field as nothing more than bit part players. It was a contest that will long be remembered as one of the greatest Open performances ever witnessed.”
Stenson was also voted 2016 European Tour Golfer of the Year, receiving the prestigious annual award for the second time in four years.
“It has certainly been the best season of my career and to now be voted the European Tour Golfer of the Year for a second time is a fantastic way to bring the curtain down on it,” said Stenson.
“To win the Claret Jug, a silver medal at the Olympics, the Race to Dubai and now this means 2016 was a very special year for me, and I am very proud of what I have achieved.
“There have been some great golfers who have won this award, and many more who just missed out over the years, so to receive it twice now is a huge honour. You can argue that my consistency was a touch higher in 2013, but in 2016 I produced my best performances at key moments, so it will go down as the best year I have had and this award is a very nice way to end it.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of The European Tour, said: “The 2016 season was undoubtedly a memorable one for European Tour members around the world, with many so achievements to celebrate.
“However, Henrik Stenson not only produced one of the standout performances of the year, or indeed any year, to win the Claret Jug at Royal Troon, but he also displayed an impressive level of consistency across the entire season to win the Race to Dubai.
"Furthermore, Henrik consistently reminded us what a magnificent ambassador he is for the game of golf, and he is therefore a thoroughly deserving winner of the European Tour Golfer of the Year award for the second time in his career.”