By Derek Lawrenson for The Mail on Sunday
Published: 22:44 GMT, 16 November 2019 | Updated: 23:33 GMT, 16 November 2019
Rory McIlroy began the year by resigning his membership of the European Tour. He could end it in the Middle East this week as the winner of the Race to Dubai.
Much will depend on how the current leader, Bernd Wiesberger, fares today in the final round of the penultimate event, the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.
The big-hitting Austrian is currently joint sixth in Sun City and a top-four finish would end McIlroy’s hopes. But it would only need an average last round from the 34-year-old from Vienna to throw the door wide open for the in-form Northern Irishman.
Rory McIlroy is in the frame to end the season as European No 1 by winning the Race to Dubai
But much depends on Bernd Wiesberger and his remaining display at the Nedbank Challenge
If Wiesberger finishes 10th both today and next Sunday, for example, McIlroy would go past him with a victory in the final event, the DP World Tour Championship.
Furthermore, McIlroy would win the whole shooting match for the fourth time provided Jon Rahm, currently second in the overall Race, and third-placed Shane Lowry didn’t finish runner-up in the DP event.
It was this time last year that McIlroy revealed he would be concentrating on America this campaign and that he didn’t think he could fulfil the quota of events in Europe that would allow him to retain dual membership. He duly resigned in January.
The 30-year-old admitted it was a heart to heart with wife Erica that gave him second thoughts and a deal was thrashed out with the European Tour chief Keith Pelley that allowed him to rejoin. McIlroy started collecting Race to Dubai points at the PGA Championship in New York in May.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) -