McIlroy likely to clinch Race to Dubai without playing

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Rory McIlroy likely secured the European Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday without hitting a shot during this Final Series.

The world No. 1 said he skipped the first two events – the BMW Masters and last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions – to focus on his upcoming court case against his former management team. 

He’ll return next week at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, but his 2,950,000-point lead over Jamie Donaldson is nearly insurmountable with only two events left in the Race to Dubai. McIlroy is now in line for a $1.25 million bonus. 

This season, McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship (Europe’s flagship event), Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone and PGA Championship to soar to the top of the European rankings. It is his second Race to Dubai title in the past three years (2012).

Last year, the European Tour forced players to compete in two of the three Final Series events to be eligible for the bonus pool and DP World Tour Championship. The circuit reversed course and relaxed that rule in March, following a wave of player criticism.  

Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia and Marcel Siem all have a (slim) mathematical chance, but they’ll have to win the next two events and then get some help from McIlroy to become Europe’s No. 1.