Rory McIlroy has won his fifth European order of merit title and now has his eyes fixed on the record set by Colin Montgomerie. McIlroy took the crown – named the Race to Dubai – after Adrian Meronk fell short of the third-place finish he required at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa to keep the season-long race alive going into the final event in Dubai next weekend.
McIlroy’s advantage is an unassailable one; he adds the 2023 title to wins in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2022.
Not lost on McIlroy, however, is that Montgomerie ruled Europe eight times.
McIlroy’s appearance on the Earth Course in Dubai from Thursday will be his first since that Ryder Cup, where he was integral to European glory. McIlroy was also at the centre of an epic spat with Joe LaCava, Patrick Cantlay’s caddie, which rumbled into a car park at the end of the second day’s play.
McIlroy began his year by seeing off Patrick Reed to take the Dubai Desert Classic. He later won the Scottish Open in thrilling style, with local favourite Robert MacIntyre pipped in East Lothian. Top-10 finishes in three of golf’s four majors also pushed him towards the order of merit title.
At the Nedbank in Sun City, Max Homa posted a final-round 66 for his first win outside the US. Homa saw off Nicolai Højgaard by four strokes.