Rory McIlroy won the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai title for a fifth time after two Rolex Series victories and three top-seven finishes in majors in 2023; McIlroy last won a major title at the 2014 PGA Championship
Last Updated: 19/11/23 2:40pm
Rory McIlroy believes he has enjoyed a solid year on the DP World Tour and is targeting more Order of Merit titles
Rory McIlroy has set his sights on adding to his major tally in 2024 after rounding off another impressive DP World Tour Championship campaign by winning the Race to Dubai for a fifth time.
McIlroy had already built an unassailable lead in the season-long standings heading into the DP World Tour Championship, having enjoyed two Rolex Series victories and three top-seven major finishes during his season.
The world No 2 won the Hero Dubai Desert Classic and Genesis Scottish Open in a year where he finished runner-up at the US Open and reached the semi-finals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, then rounded off his season with a tied-22nd finish at the season final in Dubai.
Highlights from the final round of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai
McIlroy also enjoyed an impressive campaign on the PGA Tour and played a starring role in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory in Rome, although he heads into the New Year still without a major title since his 2014 PGA Championship success.
“It’s been a good last couple of years, but I want to kick on now and try to win more majors and that’s where my focus is and we keep going forward,” McIlroy said during the trophy presentation at the DP World Tour Championship.
On his back-to-back Race to Dubai titles, McIlroy added: “I think it [winning] shows my consistency year-to-year. Over the last 10 years, I think I’ve won eight season-long titles between America and between here, so it just shows my level of consistency.
“I said to Harry [Diamond, caddie] on the last green that there’s a few guys that are able to beat me sort of one week or the next week but I don’t think there’s a lot of people that can beat me throughout the entire season.
“It’s just about trying to be a little more clinical when I get to those weeks where I have chances to win. Overall, it’s been another really solid year. Stroke average has been great and I’ve played really good golf. Hopefully more of the same going into next year and beyond.”
The world No 2 moves within one of Seve Ballesteros’ total of six Order of Merits, with McIlroy still hopeful of surpassing Colin Montgomerie’s all-time record of eight titles.
McIlroy looks back on his 2023 season and gives it a seven out of 10 but adds that the Ryder Cup win with Europe was a key highlight
“It’s absolutely amazing to be up there with Seve [Ballesteros] and Monty [Colin Montgomerie], the greats of European golf,” McIlroy added. “I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d get this far, but there’s no reason to stop here.
“I’d love to be on this green again next year and try to win a sixth one of those and keep it going.”
About the prospect of further DP World Tour order of merits, McIlroy said after his final-round 70 in Dubai. “Still got a little bit left in the tank. I think I’ve still got a good eight to 10 years left in me where I can play at the top, top level.
“I’d like to think that I’m going to challenge, at least try to get past Seve and then sort of try to get past Monty as well. But it’s certainly a goal of minute for the rest of my career to do something like that. It would mean a lot to me.”
McGinley: No fears over McIlroy in majors
The Race to Dubai champion will have another opportunity to complete the career Grand Slam in April at The Masters, having posted top-eight major finishes in seven of his past eight major starts, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley confident McIlroy will still add to his major tally.
Paul McGinley believes the option to be able to play on both the DP World Tour and PGA Tour will help golfers become better players going forward
“I think he has been excellent this year and he’s more consistent as a player now than he’s ever been before,” McGinley told Sky Sports. “I know people judge by major championships and he probably judges himself by major championships, but the ground basis of it in terms of how much of a quality player he is has never been higher.
“There’s not a weakness now in his game, so I think he just needs a bit of luck when it comes to major championships and a little bit more belief when he gets into the heat of battle. Things just need to fall his way and he’s not got that so far in majors.
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“McIlroy has been supreme this year, winning two Rolex events and playing as well as he has in majors, in three top 10s. Look at his game, it’s really really strong. I have no fears going forward that he is not going to add significantly to the majors tally.”
What’s next for McIlroy?
McIlroy will begin 2024 by competing in back-to-back DP World Tour events, playing in the Dubai Invitational from January 11-14 and then aiming to defend his Hero Dubai Desert Classic title the following week. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and more with NOW.