McDowell to Receive another Award

The hits just keep coming for U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell. On Monday, the Northern Irishman was voted the "Professional of the Year" in the AIB Irish Golf Writers' Awards (IGWA) for 2010. Earlier in the month McDowell shared the European Tour Player of the Year honors with Germany's Martin Kaymer and, more recently, was named Male Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America.

The 31-year-old from Portrush was a unanimous selection for the award after he not only one his first major title but racked up three other wins. McDowell also secured the winning point for the European team in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales.

"I am deeply honored to win this award - and to see that Rory McIlroy and Pádraig Harrington won in previous years confirms the strength of Irish golf at this time," McDowell said. "In fact, European golf is riding the crest of a wave at the moment with Lee Westwood's move to number one in the world rankings and Martin Kaymer's win at the PGA Championship.

"This was a tremendous year for me personally and professionally," he added. "To win my first major championship at Pebble Beach and then to bring home the team to victory at the Ryder Cup made this past season very special, the stuff of dreams. I'm now looking forward to some family time at home in Portrush before returning to the (PGA) tour in Hawaii next month."

McDowell, who previously won the amateur award from the IGWA in 2000, expressed appreciation for his support team when learning of the honor. "I would like to thank my family for their tremendous support through the years and also the team I have assembled, my caddie Ken Comboy, my coach Pete Cowen and my management at Horizon Sports, for all of their assistance in making 2010 such a great year."

McDowell, along with "Men's Amateur of the Year" Alan Dunbar, Danielle McVeigh for "Women's Amateur of the Year," and Bill Gibson, who was honored for his "Distinguished Services to Golf," will accept his award in Dublin on January 27.