Rory McIlory is planning a return to the UK once he finally finishes playing elite-level golf, but not for at least another 10 years at the top of his sport. The four-time major champion heads to Dubai this week with the DP World Tour Order of Merit title and its accompanying £2 million in prize money already guaranteed.
McIlroy has enjoyed a successful season, winning the Dubai Desert Classic and the Scottish Open as well as recapturing the Ryder Cup with Europe in Rome where he produced a typically brilliant performance.
He also narrowly missed out on adding another major to his collection when he finished one shot adrift of Wyndham Clark at the US Open in June, something he has regrets about.
Speaking at a pre-tournament press conference in Dubai, McIlroy rated his current campaign, which has firmly established him as the current world No 2. as “7 out of 10”.
He told Golf Digest Magazine: “I had the two wins and my best ever Ryder Cup. So I’ve been happy with the year. I’ll rue that miss at LA. I had a great opportunity to pick up another major and I didn’t.
“But I’m not going to let that take away from the fact that it’s been another really consistent, solid year. My game is in as good a shape as it’s ever been.”
McIlroy has revealed that he is planning to stay at the top of the game for another 10 years at least, by which time he will be in his mid-40s. At this point, he is planning to relocate to the London area, where he has already purchased a home for his wife Erica and family.
The 34-year-old still hopes to complete a clean sweep of the majors, with just the US Masters left to conquer after winning The Open, the US Open and the PGA Championship twice already.
But in the meantime, he will be content with winning the European Tour Order of Merit for a fifth time, even if he doesn’t even need to swing a club at Jumeirah Golf Estates this week to do so.
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Speaking to the assembled media, he said: “I probably would have liked to have won it another way. “But I’ve played well when I’ve came back over to the European Tour this year. I won two Rolex Series events and had some other really high finishes. So it’s really nice to have my name on the Harry Vardon Trophy for the fifth time and be just one behind Seve [Ballesteros] and still a few [three] behind Monty [Colin Montgomerie].
“To be up alongside them is really something. If someone had told 18-year-old Rory when I was making my professional debut in 2007 that I would have won five Order of Merits up to this point, I wouldn’t have believed them.
“It shows the consistency that I’ve played with over the last few years. Even though I don’t feel like I’ve had a great year, I can still achieve things like this.”
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