Rory McIlroy admitted that he’s not playing for the Race to Dubai title at this week’s DP World Tour Championship, instead he’d like to be the best player in the world again.
‘There is still a lot to play for and I’d love to win this tournament for a third time. If I win I’ll get back to number one in the world at the end of the year, which is a huge incentive,’ he said.
The Northern Irishman is a four-time major winner and his best stats have come out of the European Tour’s ‘Desert Swing’.
He’s 73 under par for his last 16 rounds at the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates and returns after practicing in Dubai for the last two weeks.
‘You always want to go out and practice a bit to keep yourself ticking over. I haven’t worked really hard, but I feel that I’ve done enough and ramped it up coming into this week. I’ve played this course well in the past, hopefully I can do so again and contend on Sunday,’ he said.
The world number two has played a limited schedule, but still managed to win the PGA Tour Championship and corresponding FedEx Cup.
He won three times worldwide this year and had top 10s at the Masters and The Open Championship. Now the apple of McIlroy’s eye is a desert victory to end his season.
‘It’s a big enough tournament on its own, you always want to win this one. It’s the last start of the year for me and it would make the Christmas and New Year break that much better if I could knock this one off,’ he said.
The 27-year-old has impeccable course knowledge at Jumeirah Golf Estates, where he’s won twice (2012, 2015) and been in the top five on four other occasions.
‘The course is good, it never really changes. It suits a longer hitter, someone with a high ball flight, and the greens are the best I’ve ever seen them here. The course is in fantastic shape and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the usual suspects up there on Sunday,’ he explained.
McIlroy is the favourite to win this week, despite skipping the last two events on the European Tour’s Finals Series. He’s rested, in-form, and knows the track.
‘I just have to worry about what I can do, so I’ll let the other boys worry about the Race to Dubai. I know that I have one goal in my mind – to win the tournament. It could mean getting back to number one,’ he concluded.