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Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

McIlroy upbeat ahead of title bid

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy will vie with three others for the Order of Merit title

Rory McIlroy is in confident mood after his runner-up finish at the Hong Kong Open boosted his hopes of securing a maiden Order of Merit title.

The 20-year-old took over from Lee Westwood at the top of the standings.

McIlroy, Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher will battle to finish top of the money list at this week's season-ending Dubai World Championship.

"I am the man to beat, and that's the way I wanted it going to Dubai," said McIlroy. "I am in pole position."

Westwood finished well down the field on his first visit to Fanling, but the 36-year-old knows victory in Dubai would be enough for him to overhaul McIlroy and repeat his 2000 Order of Merit success.


"It's in my hands regardless," stated Westwood.

"The difference between first and second next week is more than the difference, so if I win next week, I win the money list.

"That's what I set out at the start of the last few weeks, to make sure I was within the difference between first and second."

Victory at the Earth Course in Dubai would also secure Kaymer the title, while Fisher must win and hope neither McIlroy or Westwood finish highly.

Paul Casey has a shoulder injury which has ruled him out of Dubai, and the race to finish top of the money list.

McIlroy finished second behind France's Gregory Bourdy in Hong Kong despite a sparkling final-round 64.

He is £115,000 ahead of Westwood, and has moved up to a career-high 13th in the world rankings, one place behind Ian Poulter.

Westwood has dropped back to fifth in the world, and slipped to third in the Ryder Cup points table behind McIlroy and Simon Dyson.

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see also
Westwood chips in on 606
11 Nov 09 |  Golf
Bourdy wins after McIlroy charge
15 Nov 09 |  Golf
McIlroy eyes European top spot
10 Nov 09 |  Golf
Injury forces Casey to skip Dubai
14 Nov 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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