McIlroy hungry for win at Dubai season-ender

Rory McIlroy will add another €783,610 to his millions when he tees off in Dubai at the DP World Tour Championship – the end-of-season bonus for topping the European Money List.

But it is not money that is driving the 23-year-old on in his already glittering career.

“Winning, trying to be the best player that I can be, trying to win majors – that’s the real goal for me,” said the world number one.

There are two trophies up for grabs this week in Dubai, and McIlroy has already written his name on one of them.

He clinched the European Money List two weeks ago, adding it to the PGA Tour number one spot he had in the bag without playing any of the last four events.

Luke Donald did the same double last season, but he had to go to the last day in both events on either side of the Atlantic to achieve the feat.

That is how dominant McIlroy has been this year.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Nike are rumoured to be spending more than €186m to see McIlroy using their clubs.

For his final event of 2012 in Europe, McIlroy is still playing Titleist, but he added: “This is the last week that I will.”

The focus now shifts to the tournament with McIlroy having thrown down the gauntlet to the field saying his motivation now was to win a fifth title in a season where he has won the PGA Championship and three regular tournaments on the PGA Tour.

But McIlroy, who missed the cut with a four putt on the 36-hole last week in Hong Kong where he was the defending champion, will need to play at his best this week if he wants to take home both the trophies.

The field in Dubai is beaming with talent who can give McIlroy a run for his money.

It includes world number two, Luke Donald, who won last week in Japan, Europe’s Ryder Cup hero, Ian Poulter, a winner at WGC-HSBC Champions and runner-up last week in Australian Masters, Louis Oosthuizen who was sixth in WGC-HSBC and runner-up in Singapore, and the 19-year-old Matteo Manassero, who won in Singapore and was fourth in Hong Kong.

Even though the 60 top players in the 2012 season qualify for the tournament, only 57 are playing this week.

Thomas Bjorn, Ross Fisher and Retief Goosen have all withdrawn.

Defending champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain is also absent from the field.

Quiros, who made an unforgettable eagle on the last hole to win in 2011, finished outside the top-60 in the Race to Dubai.