Rory McIlroy aims to raise game again in quest to emulate Luke Donald's double top

World No 1 heads strong field in Shanghai this week looking to cement his lead in Race to Dubai

Europe's Asian fringe is the setting for Rory McIlroy's attempt to clean up on both sides of the Atlantic. Already unassailable at the top of the American money list, McIlroy takes a Race to Dubai lead of €427,334 (£350,00) into the BMW Masters in Shanghai this week hoping to emulate Luke Donald's double act of a year ago. With mammoth pots also at stake in Singapore and Dubai in the next month, McIlroy will have to set his alarm to ensure the jackpot does not escape him.

The money on offer, $1.4m (£930,000) to the winner, has attracted a deep field to Shanghai, including 11 of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team. Justin Rose, second in the money list, is best placed to challenge McIlroy, but after the Northern Irishman's listless display in Turkey a fortnight ago everybody in the top dozen, bookended by Lee Westwood on €1.4m, will be paying attention.

McIlroy spent last week in Moscow watching girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki claim her 20th tennis title. Though the clubs travelled with him they did not get an airing. Historically McIlroy has managed periods of absence as well as any, and as we saw in Chicago he has little need of a warm-up to get his ball around. We can dismiss his paltry efforts in Turkey, where he alone failed to engage the competitive juices. With ranking points and meaningful money on the table in Shanghai, McIlroy insists he will be ready to fire on Thursday.

"I would love to win the Race to Dubai so I am going to give it one last push," he said. "Motivation won't be a problem. I want to try to keep my lead in the world rankings and try to finish off the season well. There is still a lot to play for. It has been a great season. I have some big events coming up. I have come close a couple of times in the Race to Dubai, so to win it this year would mean a lot.

"I think I have paced myself well this year. I didn't play too much at the start of the year. I added Memphis because I felt I needed it and I wasn't playing so well at the time and obviously it has been a very busy summer starting with the British Open, Akron, PGA, FedEx Cup, Ryder Cup. So it has been a busy stretch. But I don't feel like it has taken that much out of me."

Rose is finishing the season in full comet mode. Second to Brandt Snedeker at the FedEx finale, the Tour Championship, pivotal in the Ryder Cup and a winner in Turkey, Rose sees the Race to Dubai as an achievable stepping stone to an assault on the majors next season. His victory at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral against an elite field was a prime mover in raising levels of self-belief.

"I'd like to give Rory a run for the Race to Dubai," he said. "He has got a little bit of a lead on me and he is playing a lot of golf now as well. So he's going to be tough to catch.

"If I can continue to push the top end of the leaderboard, I'll give myself a chance. That would be fun. I've won 11, 12 times now but I feel like I can still improve to win four, five, six times a year before I solely focus on the major championships. I feel my game is now ready to handle that. Whether it's at Augusta, the US Open, or wherever."

 



The trend toward the big finish is already established on the PGA Tour with the FedEx play-offs. The European Tour is due to announce its own multimillion-pound finale next season, which will close in the desert at the end of November. A new addition to the schedule, the Turkish Open, has already been announced as the penultimate event.

The intention is to attract the game's global elite to Europe's end-of-season party. Phil Mickelson joins the China stretch next week at the only World Golf Championship event outside the United States, the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills. Tiger Woods has been an episodic visitor. The aim is to make Woods et al a fixture.

Rich Rory: money lists

European tour

1 R McIlroy (GB)€2.8m (£2.29m)

2 J Rose (GB)€2.38m

3 B Grace (SA)€2.03m

4 F Molinari (It)€1.78m

5 E Els (SA)€1.76m

US PGA tour

1 R McIlroy (GB) $8.04m (£5.03m)

2 T Woods (US)$6.13m

3 B Snedeker (US)$4.99m

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn