Rory McIlroy on salvage mission at the DP World Championship
The former world number one denies it has been 'a disastrous year'
Victory at the DP World Championship last year sealed the Race to Dubai title for Rory McIlory. Twelve months on topping the money list is not in his gift. McIlroy is on salvage duty at the European Tour’s grand finale.
Winless in 2013 and locked in legal dispute with his former management team, McIlroy is learning the hard way how to prioritise in professional sport. Even a talent as rich as his cannot take success for granted. Golf is a job like any other, and it must come first if the good life is to be sustained.
“As a golfer you want your mind as clear as possible, and it’s obviously hard for that to happen if you’ve got other things that are going on that, firstly, you don’t want to happen, and secondly you don’t feel should be happening,” McIlory said, in reference to the ongoing legal battle to extricate himself from estranged representatives Horizon.
“It’s not the place that I want to be in. But it hasn’t been a disastrous year. I’ve played well in patches. I guess I learnt last year how to deal with the hype and people building you up, and this year I’ve learned to deal with the criticism. I haven’t played consistently well. I haven’t given myself as many chances to win as I would have liked. But my game feels in really good shape and I’ve got a few tournaments left this year to try and put a win on the board.”
With McIlroy fighting for pride, nine golfers are engaged in the business of replacing him as Europe’s no.1. Henrik Stenson, the Race to Dubai leader, is in pole position more than 200,000 Euros clear of his nearest rival Justin Rose. Either of those, or third placed in the money list, Graeme McDowell, will guarantee no.1 spot with victory on Sunday.
Fourth placed Ian Poulter is crowned king with victory as long as Stenson finishes third or lower. As ever he fancies the job. “If I could win this week and win The Race to Dubai, that would be a huge achievement. As a personal goal that's something that every player wants to do.
“I've always done well under pressure, like my school report and school work. I never handed it in until the last minute. I always produced my best at the last minute. I love the golf course. And I've played it really well in the past.”
Latest in Sport
Mayweather-Pacquiao: Ricky Hatton, Mike Tyson, Ronda Rousey and more make their predictions
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and still qualify for the Champions League
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Man cooked alive with 12,000 pounds of tuna
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon