RORY McILROY has no regrets about missing out on the £1.55million bonus for being Europe’s No1.
McIlroy’s call to turn his back on the tour at the start of the year — and concentrate on US events — came back to haunt him.
Even though the world No 2 did a U-turn in May, it was too late because if he had joined at the start of the year, his cash from two early-season World Golf Championship events would have counted on the Race to Dubai.
The 30-year-old would now be third in the Race to Dubai standings, knowing a top-two finish at the DP World Tour Championship starting tomorrow, could see him crowned European No 1 for a fourth time.
Instead, he is languishing in sixth place, too far behind leader Bernd Wiesberger of Austria to catch him even if he wins this week’s final event.
But McIlroy said: “I’ve earned enough money this year. I’m fine.
“I mean, winning the Race to Dubai wasn’t on my radar at the start of the year.
SCOOPED £11.6m JACKPOT £6.2m
“I’ve already won it three times. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to do it but I just haven’t played enough European Tour events to have a chance, so no regrets there.
“You look at someone like Bernd, who’s played more than 25 times, and those are the guys that deserve to be up there with a chance to win.
“I’ve still got a chance to win this tournament, and that’s important to me. That’s enough for me to be here.”
McIlroy has a point. The winner’s cheque this week will be the highest-ever handed to a golfer — without bonuses — a cool £2.32m.
And even climbing one place on the overall standings will earn him a share of the £3.87m Race to Dubai kitty.
In August, McIlroy scooped the US Tour’s bumped-up FedEx Cup jackpot of £11.6m — a direct result of playing more in America than usual. He also banked £6.2m in prize money.
The Northern Irishman also pointed out he has not exactly been a stranger to the golf course over the past couple of years.
He added: “I think the new, condensed Major season, with the USPGA switching from August to May, has proved good for golf as a whole. It encourages guys to play more.
“Since I broke into the world’s top 50 at the end of 2008, this is the only time I’ve hit the maximum divisor in the rankings, of 52 events in a two-year period.
“I played 27 last year and this is my 25th event this year.
“I’ve played a lot of golf the last couple of years. That’s why I’m looking forward to a couple of months off after this week.
“I’d still love to see the Major schedule just spread out a little bit more so casual fans of the game are a little more interested in golf — not just for five or six months of the year but maybe nine or ten months of the year.
“The way the game is going, in terms of how important Majors are and how much emphasis everyone puts on them, the game is only getting a really high profile for a narrow window.
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“Going forward, I think the sweet spot of events for me is around 23 or 24. But this year, I found a good balance.
“Maybe a few years ago, I was of the mindset playing 20, 21 was good. But I feel like after those two or three-week breaks you come back and you’re not quite as sharp as you need to be.
“I think playing a little more regularly definitely helps me.”