George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour and Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
World Number One Rory McIlroy reiterated his commitment to The European Tour as the Northern Irishman looks to add the DP World Tour Championship title to his incredible 2012 résumé.
The 23 year old has not only climbed to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking in the last 12 months, but matched Luke Donald’s 2011 feat of capturing the money list titles on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as winning a second Major at the US PGA Championship by the same eight-shot margin as his US Open victory a year earlier.
Having already sewn up The Race to Dubai with his third-place finish at the Barclays Singapore Open two weeks ago, McIlroy confirmed his intention to try and defend his title next year.
“I think with the way golf has gone, you can be a global player and you can play all over the world,” he said. “I don't think anyone is going to neglect The European Tour.
“The European Tour gave me a lot of opportunities coming through, and it's something that I'll never forget and something that I'll always hold onto. I'm always going to be a European Tour Member.”
McIlroy was presented with a special commemorative money clip - a tour badge engraved with "Defending Champion for 2013" next to his name - by European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady ahead of his press conference at Jumeirah Golf Estates, where the top 60 players on The Race to Dubai will compete for a €1,041,429 winner’s cheque.
“Obviously I’m very proud and very honoured to have won The Race to Dubai this year,” added McIlroy. “I've had four goes at it since 2009, I came close a couple of times and it was great to be able to do it this year.
“It's been a phenomenal year, I've still got one more tournament yet and I want to try to finish the season strong. This is definitely a great way to end what has been a great season.
“I've been at it five years, and I've kept progressing every year and I want to keep trying to do that in 2013.
“I would like to pick up two trophies at the end of the week - I think that's the big thing. Obviously you have to stay right till the end, so I might as well make it matter.
“I really want to play well this week, finish this season on a high. There have been a lot of high points this year, and it would be great to finish on one, as well.”