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McIlroy recently said he would not keep his PGA Tour membership next year to focus more on Europe and cut down on his schedule. Whether that had a role in the players’ vote could not be known with polling every player.

“I don’t think so,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. “A guy finishes as strong as Rickie did on the FedEx Cup and the money list, players vote for different reasons. But certainly, both guys had great years. Personally, I like to have a little controversy. So if you guys want to write that it’s a controversy, that’s good, because it brings more attention to who won.”

Neither Fowler nor McIlroy reached the Tour Championship. Fowler finished 32nd in the FedEx Cup standings, while McIlroy was 36th.

Furyk won his second major award. He also won the Vardon Trophy in 2006 when Woods did not play the required number of rounds.

Also, Jamie Lovemark won the Nationwide Tour award, typically given to whoever wins the money list.