ALTHOUGH World Number One Rory McIlroy has already won The Race to Dubai, the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland has no intention of taking it easy at this week’s DP World Tour Championship.
McIlroy admitted that while topping the money lists in both Europe and the US, clinching his second Major and helping Europe win the Ryder Cup had been a good year- “I’ll give it eight out of ten”- he is out to end the season in style when the final leg of The Race to Dubai gets underway on Thursday.
“Of course it is good to have wrapped up The Race to Dubai and I know I’ll be getting a trophy on Sunday but it would be even better to get two trophies at the end of the week,” he said after the Rolex Pro-Am on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
After what has been another exceptional year in the career of a player who continues to impress, the $8 million DP World Tour Championship gives the new European number one the opportunity to win what would be his only European Tour title. “I really want to play well this week’ and finish the season on a high. There have been a lot of high points this year and it would be great to finish on another.
Luckily for me, I’ve earned enough money not to make it (The Race to Dubai) matter this week but as I said I would love to pick up both trophies on Sunday, “ said McIlroy.
McIlroy’s outstanding season means that for the second year in succession, the US and European money lists have been won by the same player, a feat first achieved just 12 months ago by World number two Luke Donald who was quick to recognise the achievements of his Ryder Cup team mate. “A lot of people said that winning both money titles wouldn’t happen again for a long time yet it only took Rory a few months to pull it off himself,” said Donald.
Donald, currently ranked 8th in The Race to Dubai but back on McIlroy’s shoulder in the Official World Golf Ranking, admitted that while he would like to be back at the top of the sport he knows golf is enjoying something of a ‘Rory Era’.
“Rory has that ability and the talent to create a big lead , he’s got a bit of a gap already and there is no reason why he can’t continue to play like he has done. But afew of us will be trying to chase him down and that’s good for the sport.
He does have the ability to get away from us but I’ll be looking hard to try and make sure that doesn’t.” One man delighted to have the chance to get up close and personal with the best player in the world was Ahmed al Musharrekh, the 22 year-old UAE national who has become the country’s first ever golf pro.
McIlroy took a few minutes out from competing in the Rolex Pro-Am to welcome al Musharrekh to professional golf in a generous move that delighted the young Emirati. “It was fantastic to meet Rory for the first time,” said Musharrekh, who enjoyed a professional debut in the Rolex Pro-Am. “To be able to stand on the driving range with players like Rory, Luke and Lee Westwood is a great experience which can only help develop my game.”