Rory McIlroy is targeting finishing an already excellent 2019 on a high when he tees it up at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai later this month.
The world No 2 sealed a fourth win of the season with victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on Sunday, defeating defending champion Xander Schauffele on the first play-off hole. The American had birdied the final hole in regulation at Sheshan Golf Club to equal McIlroy on 19-under and force sudden death.
With the win, McIlroy moved to fifth in the Race to Dubai rankings. The four-time major winner, 30, will take off the next few weeks before concluding his year at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 21-24.
McIlroy has won the event – the finale to the European Tour season – twice before, in 2012 and 2015.
“I’m going to take two months off after I play in Dubai in a couple of weeks’ time,” said the Northern Irishman, who carded a final-day 68 then birdied the 18th in the play-off as Schauffele made only par.
“I’m looking forward to that break but I’ve still got one more tournament this year at a place where I’ve had some success. So I want to try and finish the year on a high note.”
On chasing down world No 1 Brooks Koepka, McIlroy added: “I’m trying to. I’m still a little behind, I think, but I’m getting there. This win definitely helps and if I can get another win by the end of the year I’ll be feeling pretty good going into 2020.”
With the victory in China, McIlroy becomes the first European to win three World Golf Championships (WGC) events.