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LONDON (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy has been voted the European Tour's player of the year for the third time in four seasons despite missing key tournaments through injury.
The Northern Irishman was unable to defend his British Open title at St Andrews after damaging ankle ligaments playing soccer before the Scottish Open in July.
McIlroy, a four-times major champion, ended the season in fine form, however, lifting the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to retain his Race to Dubai title.
McIlroy, 26, also won his first tournament of 2015 -- the Dubai Desert Classic in February -- and the WGC-Cadillac Match Play in California in May.
"It is a huge honor for me to be named European Tour Golfer of the Year again,” McIlroy, ranked third in the world, told the European Tour website (www.europeantour.com).
“I feel very proud to have won this prestigious award for the third time. It is always special, no matter how often, to be recognized this way."
Reporting by Neville Dalton, editing by Ed Osmond