McIlroy backs Sullivan for Ryder Cup


Rory McIlroy says Andy Sullivan would be a "huge asset" for Europe at the Ryder Cup after the Englishman pushed the Race to Dubai winner close at the DP World Tour Championship.

Sullivan led going into the final round in Dubai but was unable to turn it into victory, McIlroy charging past his playing partner on the back nine on Sunday to take the title by one shot.

However, McIlroy - who sealed the European Tour order of merit crown with his win - was not given an easy run to the title, as Sullivan continued to apply pressure in the closing holes.

He was unable to find the birdies he needed to cut the 26-year-old's lead, though, and had to settle for second place on 20-under par, but McIlroy was impressed with his rival's display.

"Andy is some player, he really is," McIlroy told Sky Sports. "I have to give a lot of credit to him. I said at the start of the year when we played in Dubai he's a fantastic player. 

"He's got all the shots. I know one of his big goals next year is to make the Ryder Cup team and I think he'd be a huge asset to Europe."

Sullivan meanwhile was proud of a consistent display throughout the tournament at the Jumeirah Golf Estate, and his second-place finish on 20 under moved him into the top 10 of the European Tour's order of merit.

"It doesn't really get much better than that," said the Englishman. "Maybe one shot better and maybe take him to a play-off. It was an awesome day. 

"I gave it everything on that front nine but just couldn't quite get the putts to drop on the back nine. I didn't really hit it close enough again. 

"Just to come up head-to-head with someone of Rory's quality, it was absolutely awesome and something that will stick with me for a long time going forward."