McIlroy plays down Race to Dubai chances

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Rory McIlroy has written of winning another Race to Dubai crown ahead of the decisive DP World Tour Championship this week.

The world number two must triumph in Dubai on Sunday and rely on Henrik Stenson finishing outside the top 45, Danny Willett coming in lower than fifth and Alex Noren third or below to remain European Tour number one.

McIlroy won the final event on the European Tour at the Jumeirah Golf Estates last year to claim a third Race to Dubai success, but has ruled out a repeat 12 months on.

The four-time major champion said: "Mathematically I can win the Race to Dubai, but it's not going to happen. I wouldn't hold my breath.

"I think the three guys that are ahead of me are playing very good golf, especially the two Swedes, Henrik and Alex. Alex with what he's done over the past few weeks; Henrik has had a fantastic year, and so has Danny, obviously.

"I don't expect those guys to play badly this week so I'm just concentrating on trying to win the golf tournament and if I can do that, I'll be very happy."

McIlroy, fourth in the Race to Dubai standings, finished in a tie for fourth at the WGC-HSBC Champions last month and the Northern Irishman is determined to sign off for 2016 in style.

"I feel like my game is in pretty good shape. I've played this golf course pretty well in the past, and hopefully can play it just as well, if not better this week." he said.

"It would be a good way to finish the year on a high and get a victory and lift the trophy and hopefully make the turkey taste a bit better at Christmas."

Willett, second behind Stenson, flew to Dubai on the back of an encouraging joint-11th finish at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and is relishing being in contention heading into the season finale.

"It could be an exciting week. I have a little bit more confidence after the last couple of rounds last week." said the Masters champion.

"It was nice to finally get a few nice rounds under par and get some good feelings back there, and now we come to a golf course that doesn't necessarily suit me 100 per cent as much as it does the other guys. 

"But if we can get it in play off the tee then it definitely suits good mid-iron play which is one of our strengths, and good putting."