Dubai: Rory McIlroy said he was delighted with his performance this season and is keen to finish of the year on a high in Dubai. “It’s been another really consistent, solid year with some really good performances. I’m feeling like my game is in as good of shape as it’s ever been throughout my career. I’m happy with that, and try to finish this year off on a high and play well this week and reset and get ready for 2024,” McIlroy said ahead of the DP World Tour Championship on Tuesday.
The result in Dubai wouldn’t matter as McIlroy will end the season as European No 1 for a fifth time and be crowned Race to Dubai champion. McIlroy previously won the title in 2022, 2015, 2014 and 2012. Colin Montgomerie was Europe’s No. 1 for a record eight times when it was the Order of Merit.
The Northern Irishman leads Masters champion Jon Rahm by 2,083 points in the season-long standings and the Dubai event offers only 2,000 points for the winner. “I’ve played well when I came back over to The European Tour this year and won two Rolex Series Events and had some other really high finishes in tournaments that give a lot of points,” he said.
“I knew that as long Adrian and Ryan didn’t finish basically in the top five or top four last week, I was over 2,000 points ahead of Rahmbo. As long as they didn’t break into that 2,000-point barrier, I knew that I could come here and relax, but I still wanted to win this golf tournament. This course sets up well for me and it’s a place I’ve always done well at. It’s nice to come in here with at least that off my mind so I can just concentrate on the golf tournament.”
Great opportunity missed
Asked to grade his season out of 10, McIlroy said: “I would give it a 7 out of 10. I had two wins. I had my best-ever Ryder Cup, which feels like a win to me, especially coming off the back of Whistling Straits. So I’ve been happy with the year. If I looked back on one thing, I’ll rue that miss at Los Angeles I had a great opportunity there to pick up another major and I didn’t.”
Rory said the new TGL, the televised indoor golf league, in the US which he co-founded with Tiger Woods, can help younger generations get involved in the sport.
“Younger people hopefully. That’s the future of our game is trying to get the younger generations involved and trying to have them somehow relate to our game in some way. So just a different demographic, trying to put golf on a slightly different platform, and you know, if we can increase the interest in the game for a younger demographic, hopefully golf doesn’t look like what we are doing in TGL 50 years from now because it is a game to be played outdoors and on golf courses and in the fresh air.
"But I think there’s a place for it to maybe get people excited about watching a different version of the game that they can relate to, and I guess if that gets their foot in the door in some way, that’s a really good thing.”