GOLF: Rory McIlroy warns rivals Race to Dubai victory is 'just the start'
He may have just won The Race to Dubai, is world No.1 and have the golfing world at his feet, but Rory McIlroy wants even more glory.
The Northern Irishman revealed his plan for global domination having come third in the Singapore Open - a finish good enough to secure him the European money list after his only possible challenger, Louis Oosthuizen, lost in the playoff to McIlroy’s fellow young gun Matteo Manassero.
Having already won the US PGA tour title, the 24-year-old became just the second golfer in history to win both orders of merit in Europe and the States.
But rather than bask in his current glory McIlroy already has his sights set on more triumphs, both before the season ends at the DP World Tour Championship and well beyond.
“I’ve still got two events remaining this year and the goal is still to try and win at least once more before the end of the year,” McIlroy declared. “I’ve got a healthy lead in the world rankings, but with so many very good players on both sides of the Atlantic it will not be a time to be resting on my laurels.
“My goal is to push on [next year].”
That he’s already achieved so much while still relatively so young isn’t too big a surprise - he’s been earmarked for greatness for the past decade. However, what some may still find unnerving is the apparent ease with which he both plays and goes about chasing titles. And it’s that confidence that has him already talking about setting himself specific, and daunting, targets.
“Monty (Colin Montgomerie) won eight Order of Merits in his prime and I have won one, so there is plenty of ground to make up,” McIlroy said. “Also Jack Nicklaus won 18 Majors and I now have my name on two, so targeting the Majors will still be my main focus next season.”
Based on this year - which has seen him win the US PGA Championship by eight shots, star in the Ryder Cup and claim four other titles - it would take a brave person to bet against him coming close to both Montgomerie and the Golden Bear’s records. But all that’s for the future.
McIlroy can spend the next two weeks in Hong Kong, where he’s the defending champion, and Dubai soaking up the adulation that will surely come his way.
“It really is hugely satisfying to finally become the European number one, especially after finishing second two of the last three years,” he revealed.
“It has always been one of my goals to become the best in Europe ever since securing my Tour card five years ago, but then to also end the year as both European and PGA Tour number one is just amazing.”
Rory’s stellar season
>> Started the year in what was portrayed as a head-to-head against Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi. He beat the Big Beast but ended up second to Robert Rock in the UAE capital
>> A second-place at the WGC Match Play Championship was followed up with victory in the Honda Classic on the US Tour and a world No.1 ranking.
>> A miserable Masters - he finished Tied 40th - was simply the calm before the storm as from mid-summer onwards McIlroy became almost unbeatable.
>> The 23-year-old won the US PGA Championship to land his second Major. He then stayed Stateside to claim victories in the Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship.
>> Returned to The Race to Dubai to post second in the BMW Masters and third in Singapore to secure the European Tour title.