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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 18:42 UK

McIlroy in European Masters field

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy has not made a cut since failing to qualify for The Open

Rory McIlroy has a chance to improve his order of merit position at the Omega European Masters where only one of Europe's Ryder Cup team is playing.

McIlroy goes into the Crans-sur-Sierre event 89th in the rankings - somewhat disappointing after his great start in the professional ranks last year.

"If you'd asked me when I was at the Walker Cup last September I'd have taken this," insisted the 19-year-old.

"I've already earned enough this season to keep my card."

McIlroy also avoided the trip to the Tour School last year after he finished third at the Dunhill Links Championship and then took fourth a week later at the Madrid Open.

"I've just got to stay patient. I'm hitting it as well as I have all year and if I keep improving like I am I know that in six years' time I'm going to be a pretty good player."

From four tournaments last autumn McIlroy earned just under 200,000 but his winnings from a total of 20 events this year are close to 220,000.

He has also not made a cut since failing to qualify for The Open in July.

However, McIlroy is remaining upbeat and he says that his comparative struggles this year could benefit him in the long-term.

"It does not seem as easy as it did at first and that's kept me working hard.

"Most of the cuts I've missed are only by one or two shots and I definitely feel I am on the right track."

As for those who were predicting a place on Nick Faldo's team for him McIlroy comments: "I don't care if I don't play the Ryder Cup. I would rather win a major."

His goal for the rest of the season now is to climb into the top 60 on the money list to qualify for the Volvo Masters at Valderrama.

Miguel Angel Jimenez is the only member of the European Ryder Cup side in action in Switzerland.

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