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Irish golfing sensation Rory McIlroy will become a card carrying member of the US PGA Tour in 2010 as he sets his sights firmly on cracking the top ten in world golf rankings.

McIlroy will join Padraig Harrington in playing both the European and PGA tours, and the Hollywood County Down native feels it is the best thing to further his career and build on his development as a golfer.

“I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea that I am just going away to America because that is not what I am planning,' said the 20-year-old.

“I just feel that I will become a better golfer if I also play in America.  I will be playing in world class fields with more world ranking points on offer, and the only way for me to get better is to play alongside better players.

“And on paper at this moment there are 16 better players than me in the world.”

McIlroy is in with a shout of winning the Race to Dubai as at the tour heads to Hong Kong this week, lying in second place behind Lee Westwood.

Though McIlroy, who partners Graeme McDowell to represent Ireland in the World Cup later this month, has decided to pursue his American dream to jump up the world rankings, he is still committed to the European Tour.

"I will never give up my membership of the European Tour that afforded me so many invites when I was an amateur and that helped me so much in my development as a player.

"I can’t thank the European Tour enough but I am just in a privileged position where I play wherever I want, and besides I earned enough money in U.S. Tour events to get my card so I have taken out membership.

"I want to become a better player and the best way to develop my game is to be playing more in the States, and playing a worldwide schedule."