This is the time of year when players get really picky about their tournament dates, and for Rory McIlroy, after a stint in Europe where he played three of four weeks and cemented his position at the top of the merit standings from the race to Dubai, it would be a case of good performance (although failure to win) and took a two-week break.

McIlroy’s next trip will be his CJ Cup defense on the PGA Tour October 20-23, after which he will look back to the European Tour and target the DP World Championship in Dubai when he tries to add that. The Tour Championship/FedEx Cup title that he claimed is in the United States.

Although the Northern Irish is still ranked number two in the world behind Scotty Scheffler, his run of second, fourth and fourth in his three European Championships reconfirmed a streak of form until 2022 that has been hugely impressive. In 19 tournaments played around the world, McIlroy has had two wins, two runners-up, two third places, and six more within the top ten with only one loss in all that time.

The results of the BMW PGA-Italian Open-Dunhill Links series of events enabled him to cement his place at the top of the race to Dubai by nearly 1,000 points over Matt Fitzpatrick in second, while Ryan Fox’s win at Dunhill enabled Kiwi to go from seventh to third in the updated tables. . As a result, Shane Lowry dropped from sixth to seventh.

Fox’s win at Dunhill also saw him go from 47th to 25th in the world rankings, sealing an invitation to play in next year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National.

“I definitely hope that’s the case, this is the major I haven’t stopped yet, so it would be great to have that. [invitation] in the mail. When I started this year, I was outside the top 200 in the world, so talking about going to the Masters is incredible,” said Fox, who was McIlroy and Fitzpatrick heading to Dubai.

As he put it: “After the good run I had in the middle of the year, that was always the goal, to give myself the chance to go to Dubai. There are obviously good players in that standings, so I’m going to have to do something more special to get ahead of those players. But just being in the mix is ​​a good thing.”

Lowry, like McIlroy, plans to take a two-week break from competitive play and will also return to championship duties at the CJ Cup held at Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina.

As of now, Séamus Power is also looking to make his DP World Tour Championship debut – he is currently 46th in the world rankings – but the Waterford man’s focus for now is on the PGA Tour, and after finishing the 30th tie. At Sanderson Farms, Which was his first appearance in more than five weeks, he made his comeback this week at the Shriners Kids Open at TBC Summerlin in Las Vegas on what’s effective at home.

The stoppage of the tour this week on the European circuit is the Spanish Open at Club de Campo in Madrid where world number six John Ramm takes the headline. Ram will also be looking to add points to the standings for the race to Dubai (he is currently 18th).

There are five Irish players on the field in Madrid, all desperately in need of POIs on their own missions to keep the tour cards for next season: Jonathan Caldwell, Cormac Sharvin, Niall Kearney, Paul Dunn and Gavin Moynihan.

On the LPGA Tour, Stephanie Meadow – after finishing 44th in the ascendancy, as England’s Charlie Hall won – is on the field for this week’s Mediheal Championships in California. Leona Maguire is scheduled to return to the BMW Women’s Championship in South Korea later this month.

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