Westwood was in scintillating form at the Dubai World Championship
Lee Westwood has been rewarded for a fine season by being named the European Tour's golfer of the year for 2009.
The 36-year-old wins the award for the third time after ending up as Europe's number one with victory at the Dubai World Championship last month.
Westwood had a fine end to the campaign, recording 11 top-10 finishes from his 13 events after the US Open.
"It is a fantastic honour to win and cap a wonderful season for me and all those who have helped me," he said.
The world number four, who won two events this season, also won the award in 1998 and 2000 but then had a long slump and fell out of the top 100 in the world rankings.
"I have won this award twice before but this probably means more to me in recognising how I have fought my way back to the top," he added on the European Tour website.
"When I last finished number one in 2000 it was special as I won six events and the World Match Play that year.
"But to then drop completely into obscurity and come back from that, get back into the world's top five and crown it all by winning the Dubai World Championship and the first Race to Dubai means a lot."
Westwood went into the Dubai World Championship behind Rory McIlroy in the European Money List but he produced a fine display, shooting a course record 64 in the final round to finish six clear at the top of the leaderboard.
He also finished joint third at the Open and the USPGA as well as winning the Portugal Masters in October.
Severiano Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Sir Nick Faldo and now Westwood have won the award three times, with Colin Montgomerie the only golfer to have been given it four times.