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Fired-up McIlroy on mission to clinch rare double

By Phil Casey

Published 27/10/2016

Focused: Rory McIlroy is targeting a FedEx Cup/Race to Dubai brace
Focused: Rory McIlroy is targeting a FedEx Cup/Race to Dubai brace

Rory McIlroy believes he needs at least one win from his next three events to become only the second man after Henrik Stenson to win the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai in the same season.

Open champion Stenson achieved the feat in 2013 and the Ulsterman can follow in the footsteps of his Ryder Cup team-mate after winning the FedEx Cup - and $10m bonus - for the first time in September.

The World No.3 is looking to win the Race to Dubai for the third year in succession and fourth time in the last five years, but is more than a million points behind Masters champion Danny Willett, who has a lead of more than 400,000 over Stenson.

All three are part of the star-studded field for this week's WGC-HSBC Champions event in China, which features 40 of the world's top 50 and a first prize of €1.4m - with one euro equalling one Race to Dubai point.

"It would be great to get the double," McIlroy said at the tournament's launch event. "I'm hoping that's what's going to happen.

"I've got three tournaments left to try to do that. I've got a lot of ground to make up as well. Danny has had a great season, so has Henrik, so I know what I need to do.

"I probably need at least one win, hopefully two, and hopefully those boys not to play as well as they have been. I know I've got a lot to do but hopefully I can play well enough."

McIlroy has not played competitively since winning three points from five matches in Europe's Ryder Cup defeat at Hazeltine and admits he could be somewhat rusty when he tees off alongside Bubba Watson and Adam Scott today.

"After what happened in the States with the FedEx Cup and the Ryder Cup, I really wanted to regroup and sort of recharge the batteries a little bit," he said.

"I wanted to come into these weeks feeling fresh and ready to go. I'm sure there will be a little bit of rust, but the last few times I've played, I've played very well."

McIlroy will use a TaylorMade driver and fairway woods in pursuit of a third World Golf Championships title after Nike announced they would "transition out" of making clubs and balls.

"I know Tiger (Woods) has won 18 (WGC events). It would be nice to try and move up that list a little bit, too," the four-time Major winner added.

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