Rory McIlroy has bow won the European order of merit fives time

McIlroy wins fifth European order of merit title

Although Rory McIlroy had already been confirmed the winner of the DP World Tour’s Order of Merit title before the start of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, the Northern Irishman had to wait until the conclusion of the event on Sunday before he could be officially be handed the trophy that comes with it.

He earned the fifth Harry Vardon of his career after playing in just nine DP World Tour events this season, the lowest number of events ever competed in by an Order of Merit champion. He won two tournaments, the Dubai Desert Classic and the Scottish Open, and becamwesthe first player in the Race to Dubai era to secure the title before the final event.

He achieved this feat following an impressively consistent run of form that has seen him only finish outside of the top 10 twice since May, with three of his top 10’s coming in the Major Championships, including a runner-up finish at the US Open.

McIlroy played 34 rounds on the DP World Tour in 2023 with a stroke average of 68.88, which is only 0.13 higher than last year which was the best since records began. He also ranked first in putts per GIR (1.69) and average putts per round (27.68), leading to an average of 4.65 birdies per round (also ranked tied first).

Speaking about his achievement, McIlroy said: “I’ve still got a little bit left in the tank. I think I’ve still got a good eight to ten years left in me where I can play at the top, top level. I’d like to think that I’m going to challenge, at least try to get past Seve and then sort of try to get past Monty as well. But it’s certainly a goal of mine for the rest of my career to do something like that. It would mean a lot to me.

He added: “Over the last ten years I’ve won eight season-long titles between America and Europe, so it just shows my level of consistency. There are a few guys that are able to beat me sort of one week or the next week, but I don’t think there’s a lot of people that can beat me throughout the entire season. My next step is just about trying to be a little more clinical when I get to those weeks where I have chances to win.”