Rory McIlroy says he firmly has Brooks Koepka’s world number one spot in his sights for 2020 after hailing his season a big success.
McIlroy won the HSBC Champions last week to close the gap in the rankings, but he’s not ready to stop there.
It’s been a fine season for McIlroy, who now has four titles, including The Players and the Tour Championship – and the betting online odds with Betfair are already pointing towards another successful year, with McIlroy as low as 8/1 to win the US masters 2020.
“I’m excited for the future,” McIlroy told reporters after his latest win in China.
“I feel like this year compares to 2014, 2015, but I don’t see any reason why I can’t go ahead and have an even better year next year.”
“I just wanted to play well until the end of the year and give myself a platform going into 2020.
“Even though it’s the end of the year, there’s a lot to play for. At least there is for me, anyway.
“You need to find things to motivate you and those are the thing that motivated me to travel to Asia and play hard the last couple of weeks.
“I’ve got one event left to play [in Dubai] to try and replicate that play that I’ve shown over the last two weeks.”
Despite the success, McIlroy how hasn’t won a Majoy for five years, and he will take a two month break after Dubai so he can head into 2020 fresh and ready to put that right.
The tournament was the first European Tour event since the sporting shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The 23-year-old had started the final round three strokes behind his fellow American.
Poulter is six shots back heading into the final round.
The Englishman produced an excellent sand save on the last to see him finish the day at 10 under par.
The 44-year-old’s last appearance on the PGA Tour was in mid-February.
The biennial match between the United States and Europe will now take place in September 2021 at Whistling Straits.
Organisers hope to stage the event in September 2021.