Golf: Rory McIlroy's path to Nelson Award repeat aided by PGA change

McIlroy in action during the final round of The Memorial Tournament on July 19, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Rory McIlroy's chances of winning a second consecutive Byron Nelson Award for low scoring were boosted on Wednesday (July 22) when the US PGA Tour trimmed the number of rounds needed to qualify.

The coronavirus-shortened 2019-20 season, which featured a three-month hiatus from March to June, will require only a minimum of 35 rounds instead of the usual 50.

World number two McIlroy, a four-time major winner from Northern Ireland, leads the tour this season with a 68.899 scoring average through 40 rounds as he chases a fourth career Nelson Award after 2012, 2014 and last year.

American Bryson DeChambeau ranks second on the list at 68.956 after 44 rounds.

The last player to repeat as the Nelson winner was Tiger Woods from 2005-2007.

The scoring average award is similar to the PGA of America's Vardon Trophy, which has a 60-round minimum. The last time winners differed was 2013 when Woods won the Vardon Trophy and Stricker the Nelson award.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.