Rory McIlroy will add another £629,000 to his millions the moment he tees off in Dubai tomorrow but it is not money that is driving the 23-year-old on in his already glittering career.
“Winning, trying to be the best player that I can be, trying to win majors – that’s the real goal,” said golf’s world No 1.
The six-figure cheque will be his once he starts the DP World Tour Championship as the end-of-season bonus for topping the European Tour money list.
He clinched that two weeks ago, adding it to the PGA Tour No 1 spot he had in the bag without playing any of the last four events. Luke Donald did the same double last season, but he had to go to the last day in both races to achieve the feat. McIlroy has done it at a canter.
With a second runaway major win also now on his record, the Northern Irishman is such a force in the game that Nike are thought to be prepared to spend over £150million to get him using their clubs.
For his final event of 2012 McIlroy is still playing Titleist, but he added: “This is the last week that I will.”
Nick Faldo has warned of the dangers of switching but the reigning USPGA champion is not worried. “I’ve tinkered about enough to feel comfortable going into next season. I think all of the manufacturers make great equipment nowadays and it’s all very, very similar.”
The four majors are McIlroy’s top targets for next year and he stated confidently: “I got one in 2011, I backed it up this year with another major-winning season and I would love to say 2013 will be similar. That’s the benchmark for me.”
Only five players in history – Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – have won all four majors. McIlroy needs the US Masters and the Open Championship. A fifth win in 2012 will only add to his belief that it might not be far away.
He will be presented with the European Tour “Race to Dubai” crown on Sunday but hopes thatit will be in addition to the tournament title worth just short of £840,000.
“I’d like to pick up two trophies at the end of the week. I really want to play well this week, finish this season on a high.”