McIlroy in firing line as Rose heads Shanghai big guns

 11 Nov 2015 - 9:07

McIlroy in firing line as Rose heads Shanghai big guns

Shanghai: Rory McIlroy has skipped the BMW Masters starting Thursday but will still be keeping one eye firmly on the scores from Shanghai knowing that his status as Europe's number one is hanging by a thread.

World number six Justin Rose is one of five players who could topple McIlroy from the top spot in the Race to Dubai standings at Lake Malaren, the final stop before the season-ending DP World Tour Championship next week.

Second-placed Danny Willett, after his fourth-round 62 and third place in the $8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions across the city last weekend, is just 74,213 points adrift and needs only to finish 28th or higher to overtake McIlroy at the top of the Race to Dubai standings.

Shane Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen, Rose and Branden Grace also have the chance to knock four-time major champion McIlroy off his perch, with the first three players each needing to finish second or better to move into the number one spot, while only victory would be good enough for sixth-placed Grace.

McIlroy won the Race to Dubai last year and in 2012 but may find by Sunday night he needs nothing less than a win in Dubai to win his third Harry Vardon trophy.

The world number three is determined to give himself every chance by arriving early in the Middle East after skipping the second Shanghai event this week.

"I'll get to Dubai next weekend, so I'll be there a few days early," McIlroy told AFP after his final round 66 at Sheshan International Golf Club on Sunday left him in a tie for 11th place in the World Golf Championships event.

"I'm just with the mindset that I need to go to Dubai and win and whatever happens from there hope it will be enough, that's all I can do," said McIlroy.