McIlroy aims to end banner year in style

Despite winning two majors and regaining the No 1 ranking, the Northern Irishman would be disappointed if he doesn't claim the FedEx Cup

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 September, 2014, 10:18pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 12:17am

World number one Rory McIlroy said that he will be "disappointed" unless he can cap his banner year by capturing FedEx Cup honours and the eye-popping US$10 million bonus given to the play-off winner.

Despite counting the British Open and PGA Championship among his four triumphs worldwide this year and reclaiming the title as the game's best, McIlroy was set to tee off in the opening round of the BMW Championship with a burning desire for more.

The 25-year-old Northern Irishman is second on the season-long FedEx Cup points list behind Chris Kirk, who triumphed at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday, and entered the PGA Tour's penultimate play-off event at Cherry Hills Country Club just outside Denver determined to reclaim top ranking.

After arriving at the 2012 Tour Championship finale at number one following two play-off wins, McIlroy was pipped by American Brandt Snedeker and missed out on pocketing the US$10 million first prize.

And it still irks him.

"I still got compensated pretty well for second place, so it wasn't too bad but I feel like it's been such a great year on the golf course that if I wasn't to go ahead and win the FedEx Cup, it would definitely be disappointing," said McIlroy.

"I really want to cap off this summer as best as I can. Not winning a couple of years ago did add a little bit of fuel to the fire and probably makes me a little bit more determined to try to win it this year."

The top 70 players on the FedEx Cup points list after the Deutsche Bank Championship qualified through to Cherry Hills this week with Dustin Johnson the only one not taking his place as he takes his voluntary absence from the sport.

But just the leading 30 after this week's event will advance to the September 11-14 Tour Championship finale in Atlanta.

While McIlroy and others like Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott are all safe to make it to Atlanta, the BMW Championship will be a nail-biter for the likes of England's Justin Rose (27th), Americans Keegan Bradley (28th) and Gary Woodland (29th) plus Japanese young gun Hideki Matsuyama, who sits right on the bubble at 30th.

"I have played in the Tour Championship every year I've been on tour so I don't want to stop that streak," said Bradley, who is still revelling in being named a wild-card pick for the US team in this month's Ryder Cup.

"I need to go out this week and have a solid week and obviously, the goal is to always win. If you do that, it takes care of everything," he added.