GMac can still win Race to Dubai – Rory
Rory McIlroy believes fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell has a great chance of winning the Race to Dubai.
Rory McIlroy believes fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell has a great chance of winning the Race to Dubai ahead of Martin Kaymer.
Both McIlroy and McDowell will play at the UBS Hong Kong Open this week with the latter trailing Kaymer by £324,162 on the European Tour money list.
While a win at the Fanling Golf Club will not be enough to send McDowell top of the standings it will put him within touching distance ahead of the season-ending Dubai World Championship next week.
McDowell has arguably enjoyed the best season of his career having won his first major at the US Open and playing a vital role in Europe’s Ryder Cup win over America.
And McIlroy is confident he can cap a perfect year by finishing as Europe’s number one.
“Graeme has been playing great, Martin has as well, but I think Graeme has got the edge a little bit,” said the 21-year-old.
“He is finishing strong and hopefully he can go and do it.”
McIlroy knows exactly what McDowell is going through at the moment having been in the same position himself just 12 months ago.
The Ulsterman was behind Lee Westwood in the Race to Dubai and his second-place finish in Hong Kong was enough to move him top of the order.
However, Westwood went on to win the Dubai World Championship to be crowned Europe’s number one and McIlroy believes the fact McDowell cannot supplant Kaymer in Hong Kong regardless of how he performs could actually work in his favour.
“I was chasing Lee (Westwood) here this time last year and I finished second and went above him,” he added.
“It was nearly a bad thing though because when you are chasing, more than likely all you think about is trying to win tournaments.”
McIlroy, meanwhile, has his own reasons for wanting to perform well this week as he looks to make it third time lucky at the tournament.
Having lost out to Lin Wen-tang in a play-off in 2008 and then finishing second to Gregory Bourdy 12 months later, McIlroy is more determined than ever to claim only the second European Tour win of his career.
“This year hasn’t been as successful as I wanted it to be,” he said. “I felt as though I played good enough to have a couple more wins but that’s the way golf goes sometimes.
“I love Hong Kong and I love coming back here. I know the golf course well and I feel I’ve got a good idea of what I need to this week to try and get that win here.”
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