Michael Hoey is relishing playing in the lucrative Dubai World Championship presented by DP World after his impressive victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship propelled him into the top 15 of The Race to Dubai.
The Northern Irishman held off his compatriots Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy to triumph by two shots at St Andrews, and the €588,148 first prize launched him from 83rd to 15th, not only guaranteeing him exemption to the Dubai World Championship – where only the top 60 in The Race to Dubai take part – but giving him a good chance of earning a share of the US$7.5million end of season Bonus Pool.
“It’s just amazing what winning a big tournament can do for you,” said Hoey. “Winning the Dunhill Links will open a lot of doors for me and getting into huge tournaments like the Dubai World Championship is one of the biggest benefits. I’m ecstatic.
“To move from 83rd to 15th in the Race to Dubai in one go is unbelievable really. Trying to get into the Dubai World Championship was one of my goals before winning in St Andrews but I don’t have to worry about any of that now. I can’t wait to get to Dubai – it will be a great way to end the season.”
Scottish duo George Murray and Marc Warren were two other significant movers in The Race to Dubai courtesy of fine performances on home soil.
European Tour rookie Murray’s tied third finish alongside McDowell was worth €198,677, which lifted him from 180th to 87th, thus securing his card for next season.
Warren was tied fifth with 20 year old Tommy Fleetwood to earn €126,334 and jump from 155th to 105th.
McDowell moved from 36th to 21st to improve his chances of a earning a slice of the Bonus Pool, which is shared between the top 15 players at the end of the season, and the only change in the top ten was Simon Dyson leapfrogging Darren Clarke into eighth position.