Rory McIlroy’s winning end to the year has persuaded the layers to make the Ulsterman joint favourite for the 2014 Race to Dubai and, after a season in which the former world number one would largely want to forget, the advice is to back him to top the European charts once again next term.
McIlroy is the market principle alongside 2013 winner Henrik Stenson, who also claimed the Fedex Cup on the PGA Tour, and while the Swede is an obvious danger, along with US Open champion Justin Rose and a back to form Sergio Garcia who will have a serious chance of winning the Open at Royal Liverpool in 2014, the preference is for Rory to come good.
Too many off fairway concerns hampered McIlroy’s year from start to finish, but he reminded everyone of how good he is when claiming the Australian Open title in December, going head to head with Adam Scott before beating the Masters champion in his own backyard. At the start of the season an equipment change did his game few favours, while the press seemed more interested in his personal life than his golf with many column inches devoted to his relationship with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, there was a management split plus a not so small matter of an on going court case (now resolved) with a previous sponsor.
After his last public outing in the World Challenge in California, where Wozniacki watched on from the galleries, McIlroy revealed “It’s been a long season, a long stretch,” before going on to say “I’m excited to put the clubs down for a little bit, have a few weeks’ rest and get after it at the start of the new year.”
You have to remember that is was only at the end of 2012 that McIlroy was the best player on the planet, topping the US Money List and winning the Race to Dubai. His win in Australia has teed him up nicely for another crack at world domination.
His focus will obviously be on the Majors, and the current price of 7/2 for McIlroy to win any of the four Grand Slams makes huge appeal. I can’t believe he won’t win at Augusta in his career and he could easily claim a Green Jacket in 2014 while Pinehurst No.2 sets up well for him as he bids for another US Open title.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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