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Money title in bag, McIlroy still wants nice ending at Hong Kong

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HONG KONG -- The pressure is off Rory McIlroy on the European Tour money list. He's topped it with two tournaments to go, two tournaments he'd love to own to cap off a stellar year.

Having claimed the money title on Sunday at the Singapore Open, where he was third, McIlroy says he can relax a little.

Until Thursday, when he begins his defense of the Hong Kong Open.

"It's nice not having to worry about the Race to Dubai title knowing that I've already wrapped it up," McIlroy said on Tuesday on Victoria Peak, off which he hit plastic balls in a promotional event with Padraig Harrington, YE Yang, Paul Lawrie and Matt Kuchar.

"Matteo (Manassero) did me a big favour on Sunday winning the playoff in Singapore so I owe him for that. So, to be able to come here and really only have to play half decent is a nice feeling, but then I want to end the year with another victory."

McIlroy joined Luke Donald as the only players to win the money titles on the European and U.S. PGA Tours. He's the youngest to top Europe's money list in 32 years, and more accolades are expected. McIlroy has been shortlisted for player of the year on the U.S. tour, and its virtually inevitable in Europe.

"It's very nice to win the money list title on both main tours and while it's been nice to emulate what Luke Donald did last year and nice to be able to pick up all these end-of-year awards, I just want to keep improving," he said.

"I just want to become a better golfer and win more tournaments, and with that more major championship titles will come."

This is his sixth visit to Hong Kong Golf Club, the first time in the Faldo Junior Series in 2006. He was runner-up in the Open in 2008 and 2009, and holed out from a greenside bunker on the final hole last year to win by two strokes.

The tour finale in Dubai is next week.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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