Rory McIlroy is Europe's No. 1 after clinching Race to Dubai

Rory McIlroy, right, of Northern Ireland, looks on while standing on the grid before the sprint ahead of the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at Circuit of the Americas,at Circuit of the Americas, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Rory McIlroy is No. 1 on the European tour for the fifth time.

McIlroy clinched the Race to Dubai on Sunday without even playing in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. He is assured of being ahead of the season points race regardless of what happens next week in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

McIlroy previously won the title in 2022, 2015, 2014 and 2012. Colin Montgomerie was Europe's No. 1 a record eight times when it was the Order of Merit.

McIlroy leads Masters champion Jon Rahm by 2,083 points, and only 2,000 points are available to the winner in Dubai. McIlroy and Rahm both are playing.

Adrian Meronk of Poland is third and was the only player capable of catching McIlroy. But he had a 75 on Friday at the Nedbank and closed with a 72 to tie for 15th, not earning enough points to close the gap.


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