Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal has been named the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year, succeeding last year’s winner Martin Kaymer of Germany.

The 25-year-old hit the headlines in June when he held off Colin Montgomerie to win the Open de France ALSTOM.

Larrazabal said: “Obviously the main reason I won the award was for winning the Open de France ALSTOM, and I’ll never forget that victory.

“To win such a big tournament the way I did, with guys like Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie chasing me on the last day, was just amazing.

Larrazabal becomes the fourth Spaniard to receive the award, following José Maria Olazábal in 1986, Sergio Garcia in 1999 and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño in 2005.

“It’s an amazing honour to be named the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year, because there are so many great young players on Tour today.  

Other contenders for the award, which was inaugurated in 1960, included Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and the English duo of Robert Dinwiddie and Ross McGowan.
The selection panel for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award is comprised of The European Tour, The Royal & Ancient and the Association of Golf Writers.