Fans will argue that Rory McIlroy won a lot more than just a trophy this weekend at the 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship. He also likely secured Player of the Year honors.
McIlroy's victory Monday in the second round of the 2012 FedEx Cup Playoffs -- and the $1.4 million winner's share plus 2,500 FedEx points that went along with it -- was the Northern Irish lad's third of the year, tying him with Tiger Woods for most on tour. Prior to this week, Woods may have been the favorite to take the honor, but McIlroy now makes a strong case having also won the Honda Classic and PGA Championship this year.
Sure, Woods may still win PoY honors if he manages to win the next two stages of the postseason -- which would result in his third FedEx Cup championship -- but McIlroy's 8-shot victory at the year's last major still rings loudly throughout professional golf.
Following his final round win Monday, McIlroy acknowledged his achievements this season.
"Three is a great number," McIlroy said. "I'd like to make it four or five. I'm very pleased at how hard I worked on my game leading up to these few weeks because I felt like it was nearly there, and I just needed to stay patient.
"I felt like I turned a corner at Akron [at the WGC-Bridgestone] and then it really clicked at Kiawah [at the PGA Championship], and I've just kept it going from there."
Woods' solo-third finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship is by no means anything to take lightly; he appears to have remained consistent with his strong play thus far over his past two events. However, McIlroy appears to have caught fire at just the right moment to likely earn his first nod as the year's best golfer.