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McIlroy gunning for top spot in Dubai


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November 15th 2016, Dubai, U.A.E.: Rory McIlroy has his eyes on the Number One spot in the world as he looks to continue his remarkable record at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

The Northern Irishman has spent 95 weeks at Number One in the Official World Golf Ranking but has not held the position since September 2015, with Jordan Spieth and Jason Day battling it out for top spot.

Some stunning late season form has seen McIlroy win the FedEx Cup on the US PGA Tour and he arrives at Jumeirah Golf Estates knowing that a victory would put him within touching distance of becoming the top player on the planet.

There is still a chance that the 27 year old could claim a third consecutive Race to Dubai title but with Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett and Alex Noren all ahead of him in the rankings, he would need three players enjoying brilliant seasons to do him a favour.

"It's been a while since I've been in that spot," he said. "It's a big incentive for me to try and get that back.

"Mathematically I can win, but it's not going to happen. I wouldn't hold my breath. I think the three guys that are ahead of me are playing very good golf, especially the two Swedes, Henrik and Alex. Alex with what he's done over the past few weeks; Henrik has had a fantastic year, and so has Danny, obviously.

"So I don't expect those guys to play badly this week. So I'm just concentrating on trying to win the golf tournament and if I can do that, I'll be very happy."

McIlroy has a fantastic record on the Earth Course with two wins and only one finish outside the top ten in seven visits since the start of the Race to Dubai in 2009.

"It's always good to be back here," he said. "It doesn't seem like six or seven years ago, we played our first one here back in 2009, and I was battling Lee Westwood for the title and the Race to Dubai.

"I have great memories from this place. Last year I had a great battle with Andy Sullivan and was able to come out on top, so I'm looking forward to the week.

"I feel like my game is in pretty good shape. I've played this golf course pretty well in the past and hopefully can play it just as well, if not better, this week. It would be a good way to finish the year on a high and get a victory and lift the trophy and hopefully make the turkey taste a bit better at Christmas."

McIlroy won his home event for the first time this summer as a 253-yard approach on the last set up a tap-in eagle at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation for one of the most stunning finishes of the season.

The event will join the new Rolex Series in 2017 and McIlroy is excited to see a week close to his heart go from strength to strength.

"I won the Irish Open, which was a huge thing personally for me," he said. "In my mind it is one of the biggest I play all year. That was nice to be able to knock that off.

"I'm very grateful for the European Tour and Rolex including the Irish Open in this Rolex Series. The Irish Open's been given a great date, as well. It's two weeks before The Open on a links golf course. We're really excited about it."

   

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