McIlroy eyes Woods' money-list season record
HONG KONG (AP)
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy faces the goal of needing to capture the European Tour season ending DP World Tour Championship to become golf's leading all-time money earner ever in a single season.
Five years ago, former long-time World No. 1 Tiger Woods amassed a record combined PGA and European Tour earnings high of $US 11,557,729.
Woods won seven regular Tour events in 2007 including his 17th Major title, the PGA Championship along with two WGC victories while he also competed in two regular European Tour events.
McIlroy heads into this week's final Tour tournament already having amassed official combined 2012 European and PGA Tour prize money of $US 9,620,300 from his 22 tournaments on either side of the Atlantic.
The 23-year old Northern Irishman will add $1m to that amount as a guarantee for simply teeing up on Thursday in Dubai.
That's the top prize from a $3.75m `bonus pool' for Europe's top-10 place getters this year and with McIlroy already assured the money in wrapping up the Race to Dubai by finishing third in the recent Barclays Singapore Open.
It still puts McIlroy $937,429 adrift of Woods' 2007 historic season high.
However if McIlroy were to end his fifth full season in the pro ranks claiming the $US 1,333, 300 first prize cheque in Dubai he would surpass Woods 2007 high by $US 395,857.
But while McIlroy sets his sights on a fifth victory to end his year former GB & Walker Cup colleague, Rhys Davies faces an uncertain future.
Davies, 27 arrived in Hong Kong lying 119th on the money list and right on the cut-off mark to retain full 2013 European Tour membership.
The 2009 Hassan II Trophy winner ended the Hong Kong Open with a one over par tally but will have to wait to the close of the South African Open later today to know whether he's done enough to retain his Tour card.
''I'm hopeless at working out the various scenarios but at this stage it looks unlikely that I've done enough to hold onto my card,'' said Davies.
''I didn't even try at the start of the week to work out what I had to do.
''But my gut instinct is that I may just fall short which would be disappointing considering I play well here in Hong Kong for the four days.
''Unfortunately, something like this is unavoidable and it's now out of my hands until the South African Open finishes later today.''
Davies' biggest concern is England's Tommy Fleetwood lying 124th on the money list and heading into the final round in South Africa sharing 13th place.
Davies should collect around Euro 7,000 for his Hong Kong Open effort and while Fleetwood is Euro 2,786 adrift of Davies, he would knock the Welshman out of the top-119 by finishing in the top-20 in South Africa.