The cream of European golf is heading to DP World Tour Championship this week for the season finale but Rory McIlroy already has a fifth Race to Dubai title in the bag.
To win the order of merit so many times is an incredible achievement and one that underlines his status as comfortably the best European player of the last decade or so.
Parallels will be drawn with Colin Montgomerie’s eight wins but it is tricky to compare them. In any case, Rory can add his three FedEx Cups to his tally.
McIlroy has been magnificent again this year, earning two wins and recording 13 top-10 finishes from 20 events – including runner-up at the US Open – as well as starring for Europe as they regained the Ryder Cup.
At 34, his game just keeps improving because he works so hard on and off the course. More Majors will surely come but he is already one of the best players that Europe has ever produced, without any doubt.
He will love winning the Race to Dubai again – any accolade as good as that is always worth having – and he will already be wanting to claim a sixth next year.
I think McIlroy likes to focus on playing his golf and letting the rest take care of itself. If he carries on as he has then he will be back in the world No1 spot soon.
What is remarkable about the Race to Dubai rankings is that McIlroy and Jon Rahm occupy the top two places having played just nine and seven times on the European circuit respectively. It shows how far ahead of the rest they are.
Rahm might be slightly disappointed that he can’t catch Rory in the order of merit even if he wins this week in Dubai for a fourth time in seven years.
But it won’t have come as a complete surprise given the lead that McIlroy had built up, and the Spaniard will still want to come out on top in the tour’s finale.
Rahm has also been fantastic this year, winning a career-best four titles including his second Major at the Masters, and just gets better each season.
Other players worth watching this week in Dubai include Adrian Meronk, who bounced back from missing out on the Ryder Cup team by winning the Andalucia Masters last month.
I don’t think the Pole had a point to prove – he wasn’t overlooked because he didn’t fit in – and everyone knows exactly how good he is. He can be a great Ryder Cup player in future.
I’ve always liked Meronk’s game. He’s third in the Race to Dubai and could overtake Rahm to finish second. I expect him to go from strength to strength
Thorbjorn Olesen, seventh in the standings, is heading in the right direction again and is another player whose game I have always liked.
Bob MacIntyre, currently 11th, will hope to repeat his top 10 Race to Dubai finish of two years ago, while the Hojgaard brothers and Jorge Campillo have also had good seasons.
From McIlroy and Rahm down, the strength of European golf is remarkable.
Sam Torrance OBE is a former Ryder Cup-winning captain and one of Europe’s most successful golfers. Follow him @torrancesam