Irish teenager Rory McIlroy will turn his attentions to the American PGA tour after his breakthrough win on the European circuit in Dubai on Sunday, when he was labeled the new Tiger Woods.
The 19-year-old from Bangor, Co. Down secured a one-stroke win over Justin Rose after a traumatic back nine to move up to 16th in the world rankings and book his place at the Masters.
Just the sixth teenager to win a European Tour event, McIlroy will play in the U.S. between now and the Irish Open at Baltray in May.
"I think the world is getting so small that a lot of guys manage easily to play a little bit on both tours and that's what I would like to do, sort of juggle the time in between," said McIlroy after his first tour win. "I just have to weigh it up and try and find the right balance to play events that you like to play in Europe and then play the ones you like in the States."
Already up to 16th in the world way ahead of schedule after his Dubai Masters win, McIlroy admitted, "I'll have to reassess my goals. I've moved up a step. Success only makes you more motivated to try to do better - I realize I've become a very good player and I've got a lot of years to progress still."
Like Mark O'Meara last week, McIlroy's manager Chubby Chandler was quick to draw comparisons with Tiger Woods. "He's golf's new superstar and the most exciting talent the game has seen since Tiger Woods charged on to the scene more than a decade ago," said Chandler. "He showed maturity beyond his years to beat a world-class field and claim his maiden European Tour triumph. It will, I am absolutely convinced, be the first of many - Rory is that good."