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Rory has the world at his feet

ON THE GREENS WITH <strong>SAM TORRANCE</strong><br />RORY MCILROY could enjoy his crowing glory in Dubai this Sunday, but whatever happens, 2009 will always go down as the year when a new golfing superstar was born.<br /><br />At 20, young Rory could become the second youngest European No1 behind Seve Ballesteros this week if he holds off rivals Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher in the season-ending Dubai World Championship.<br /><br />McIlroy&rsquo;s fantastic performance in finishing second in Hong Kong at the weekend saw him go &euro;128,000 ahead of Westwood at the top of the standings and into the driving seat for the Dubai showdown.<br /><br />While his magnificent final round 64 fell just short of winner Gregory Bourdy at Fanling, it showed an old head on young shoulders &ndash; seemingly oblivious to the pressure around him.<br /><br />Now the ball is firmly in his court. Rory just has to play his own game knowing if he wins the event, he can&rsquo;t be caught. Of course he&rsquo;ll be aware of what&rsquo;s going on around him, but he has no control over that &ndash; he just has to focus on his game and doing what he knows best.<br /><br /><strong>PRESSURE</strong><br />Victory for either McIlroy, Westwood or Kaymer on Sunday would crown them champion, while Fisher will top the Race to Dubai if he wins and either McIlroy or Westwood don&rsquo;t finish second. In short, it promises to be a magnificent end-of-season finale.<br /><br />But while the pressure is on at the top of the Race of Dubai, it&rsquo;s equally tight at the lower end of the scale.None more so than for young Seve Benson, who took the final card for next year after a tense qualifying event. Seve, I know, has fought extremely hard to secure his place on the tour. First he missed the cut in a qualifying event in Singapore, then flew to Australia, where his 17th place finish was enough to earn him the very last card. Now, that&rsquo;s pressure of a different kind.<br /><br />Finally, I was delighted to see the decision by the R&amp;A yesterday to extend the entry age for past champions with a recent top 10 finish. In short, that means Tom Watson at next year&rsquo;s Open and that&rsquo;s got to be good for everyone.<br /><strong><br />RACE TO DUBAI </strong>STANDINGS<br />1 Rory McIlroy (NIR)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &euro;2,538,449<br />2 Lee Westwood (Eng)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &euro;2,410,277<br />3 Martin Kaymer (Ger)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &euro;2,332,544<br />4 Ross Fisher (Eng)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &euro;2,105,047<br />5 Paul Casey (Eng)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &euro;2,014,063<br />