Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Demands set to grow for McIlroy

Rory McIlroy says he is going to take a ruthless approach to his schedule next season (AP)

Rory McIlroy is bound to find himself even more in demand after what he did in Dubai this weekend.

But the 23-year-old - world number one, European Tour number one, Ryder Cup hero and leading money-winner in the States this year as well - says he is going to take a ruthless approach next season.

"I've done my schedule. I'm sticking to it and I'm not letting anyone persuade me to go anywhere else," McIlroy told Press Association Sport after winning the DP World Tour title with five closing birdies. "I've learned my lesson over the last couple of years."

The Northern Irishman, yet to unveil a deal with Nike reported to be worth £156million over the next 10 years, is still hesitant to make public all his 2013 tournament plans, however.

Tiger Woods has never done that before the start of a season and with each passing month McIlroy is moving closer to the American's league in terms of superstardom around the world.

He has said he intends to play less and concentrate on quality more than quantity, but when asked what places he went to this year and will not be going to next year he replied: "I don't really want to make any comment on that so far.

"I guess Singapore and Hong Kong are question marks on whether they are going to be on the Tour schedule. They are probably ones that you can omit. Plus maybe Memphis before the US Open. I added that this year just to try to get a little bit more golf because I was only playing two-round tournaments!"

By that remark McIlroy showed he had not forgotten the fact that he missed four cuts in five starts in mid-season, but what a long time ago that must feel now.

Dubai was his fourth victory since and fifth of the year and he now holds a huge lead over Luke Donald - joint third in what was also his final 2012 event - at the top of the world rankings.

McIlroy's next start is in Abu Dhabi in January and before the US Masters in April he expects to be at the world championships in Tucson and Miami, defend the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens in between and have his final warm-up for Augusta at the Houston Open.

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