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Rory McIlroy: $10m is nice but I should have doubled it

By Steve Saunders

You’d think a man who has already earned in excess of $10million this year would be more than happy with his lot.

But Rory McIlroy believes he should be ending 2012 with double that amount in his already considerable bank account.

It still rankles with the 23-year-old Ulsterman that, having won two events in the FedEx Cup play-offs in America in September, the $10m bonus prize still eluded him.

“I did feel a little hard done by to play so well and not win that,” said McIlroy as he geared up for the Dubai World Championship, which begins tomorrow.

It’s supposed to be the grand climax to the Race to Dubai — but McIlroy has been so dominant this year he has already wrapped up what used to be known as the European Tour Order of Merit, and claimed the $1m bonus.

“I guess it is a bit of an anti-climax in one way but the way I look at it is that I want to finish the season on a high and pick up two trophies on Sunday,’ he said.

McIlroy, who topped the money list on both sides of the Atlantic in 2012 as well as playing a part in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Medinah, will be presented with his European Tour Order of Merit trophy and a cheque for £629,000 before he tees off tomorrow.

Then there is the prospect of knocking Tiger Woods off the top of the list of all-time money-earners in a single season. Woods earned $11,557,729 (£7.26m) in prize-money in 2007. If McIlroy wins in Dubai, the £1m cheque will put him almost £250,000 ahead of the American.

“I really want to play well this week, finish this season on a high,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of high points this year and it would be great to finish on one as well. Winning, trying to be the best player that I can be, trying to win majors — that’s the real goal for me.”

McIlroy won one major this year and the inevitable question concerns how many more he can win — and whether he can reach Jack Nicklaus’s 18, or however many Woods ends his career with.

But McIlroy said: “I’ve always said I’m never going to put a number on it. I don’t want to do that. I just want to get my third and when I get my third I want to try to get my fourth. Obviously I’m halfway to the career Grand Slam, so that’s probably the next obvious goal for me.”

McIlroy clinched the Order of Merit money title after finishing third at the Singapore Open, becoming the second golfer — after Luke Donald — to win the US and European money titles in the same season.

The week leading up to the season-ending tournament is lacking the usual drama for the first time since the Race to Dubai was rolled out in 2009 because McIlroy wrapped things up in record time.

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