This week is make or break for me, says Rory McIlroy


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The Independent Online

Rory McIlroy remains confident he can win in Shanghai this week and qualify for the season's finale in Dubai, despite the fact that he has not won a tournament all season.

"It's a big week, obviously, it's sort of make or break," the Northern Irishman, who faces a field featuring 40 of the world's top 50 in the WGC-HSBC Champions event at Sheshan, said. "If I don't play good enough here, then there's a good chance I won't play in Dubai. I think there's a bigger chance of me winning this tournament than not playing in Dubai, I feel."

McIlroy is not scheduled to take part in next week's Turkish Airlines Open so he must climb into the top 60 in the Race to Dubai this week to have a chance of qualifying for the DP World Tour Championship, starting on 14 November.

He lies in 62nd place, less than €4,000 (£3,400) behind Garth Mulroy in 60th place, but because he will not be playing in Turkey he will need to win much more than that to feel assured of qualifying. He can at least take confidence from a one-shot victory over Tiger Woods in their 18-hole exhibition match at Mission Hills on Monday.

"I'm looking forward to going out there and playing well," added McIlroy, who has been backed by Woods to return to winning ways before the end of the season. "I feel like I'm capable of winning this golf tournament and I feel like my game's coming together nicely.

"I did a little short-game work over the last couple days and I feel like if I can get that part of my game where it needs to be, then I've got a good chance."

He is helped by the fact that he feels comfortable at the Chinese course. "I'm really glad that this tournament is back here at Sheshan. It's a golf course that I've done well on. It's one of my favourite venues of the year, quite honestly.

"Of course I expect myself to be a lot higher than that [62nd]. I won the Race to Dubai last year and I was second in 2011 and I was second in 2009. So I've been a factor in it for the last few years and to be down where I am obviously doesn't feel too good and is a reflection of how my year has gone. It's just the reality, and the reality is I haven't played well enough to be a factor."