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McIlroy targets Nicklaus' record of 18 majors

ESPN staff
November 12, 2012 « Murray positive in defeat | Chartbeat test »
Rory McIlroy celebrates after sinking a putt © PA Photos
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Rory McIlroy says he will continue to focus on adding to his major haul next year after finishing the season at the top of the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

The world No. 1 followed in the footsteps of Luke Donald in winning both the Race to Dubai and the PGA Tour money list after he finished third at the Singapore Open.

However, McIlroy has already set his sights on bettering Colin Montgomerie's achievement of winning eight Order of Merit titles, as well as adding to his current tally of two major titles after winning the US PGA in August.

"It really is hugely satisfying to finally become the European No. 1, especially after finishing second two of the last three years," McIlroy said. "It has always been one of my goals ever since securing my Tour card five years ago, but then to also end the year as both European and PGA Tour No. 1 is just amazing.

"I feel so proud and humbled to join so many fabulous names in Europe who have won the Order of Merit. To be able to accomplish this goal with still two events remaining means that I can head to my UBS Hong Kong Open defence and the DP World Championship Dubai without that added pressure and just really enjoy my golf.

"Winning a second major championship already made it a fabulous season, but then to follow Luke Donald in becoming No. 1 in both Europe and the States is the icing on the cake after a fabulous season.

"I set myself a number of ambitious goals at the start of the year, and to have ticked so many of the boxes feels great. A lot of hard work went into this and I am really proud of what I've achieved in 2012.

"I've got a healthy lead in the world rankings, but with so many very good players on both sides of the Atlantic it will not be a time to be resting on my laurels. My goal is to push on in the New Year.

"Monty (Colin Montgomerie) won eight Order of Merits in his prime and I have won one, so there is plenty of ground to make up. Also Jack Nicklaus won 18 Majors and I now have my name on two, so targeting the majors will still be my main focus next season."

World rankings: 1. Rory McIlroy (NIR), 2. Tiger Woods (USA), 3. Luke Donald (ENG), 4. Lee Westwood (ENG), 5. Adam Scott (AUS), 6. Louis Oosthuizen (SAF), 7. Justin Rose (ENG), 8. Jason Dufner (USA), 9. Brandt Snedeker (USA), 10. Webb Simpson (USA),11. Bubba Watson (USA), 12. Steve Stricker (USA), 13. Phil Mickelson (USA), 14. Keegan Bradley (USA), 15. Nick Watney (USA), 16. Ian Poulter (ENG), 17. Matt Kuchar (USA), 18. Dustin Johnson (USA), 19. Peter Hanson (SWE), 20 Ernie Els (SAF)

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