Rory McIlroy has won again – this time in Hong Kong – and could finish the year as the biggest money winner in Europe.
The US Open champion made it three wins for the season with a closing round 65 to win the Hong Kong Open by two shots.
Victory means McIlroy could still catch England’s Luke Donald when the Race to Dubai goes down to the wire in the United Arab Emirates next weekend.
“One of the goals going out today was to win this tournament to keep myself in with a shout next week,” said the world number two.
“It’s very dependent on what Luke does because he’s got such a big lead but if I can somehow get myself into contention next week, you never know.
“Another little bit of motivation was that I woke up this morning and saw Lee Westwood shoot 62 in Sun City and I thought I really needed to win to stay above him in the world rankings. It was nice to be able to do both.
“I had a lot to play for, trying to keep my hopes alive for the Race to Dubai and seeing that I needed to go out and produce a really good score if I wanted to keep my number two ranking.”
Twice a runner-up in Hong Kong, including a heartbreaking play-off defeat to Lin Wen-tang three years ago, McIlroy finally got his hands on the trophy as he beat France’s Gregory Havret by two shots.
The Irishman added: “It feels like it was a long time coming. It’s fantastic. I’ve loved the tournament ever since I played my first one in ‘07, I felt like the last owed me something after what happened in the play-off in a way.
“I had to wait a few years for it to finally happen but to win this tournament is very special.
“No matter how prestigious tournaments are, you always have your favourites and this is definitely one of my favourites and to be able to win it is fantastic. I couldn’t be happier.”
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