McIlroy becomes 2nd golfer to claim PGA, European money titles in same year
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after sinking a putt on the 18th green to finish third at the Singapore Open golf tournament at the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore on Sunday Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Justin Bergman, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, November 11, 2012 11:38AM EST
SINGAPORE -- After capturing his second major and finishing the year at No. 1, Rory McIlroy had just one goal left -- winning the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic.
His third-place finish at the Singapore Open on Sunday guarantees he'll do just that.
The Northern Irishman now has $4.7 million in winnings on the European Tour, giving him an unassailable $1.33 million advantage over Swede Peter Hanson, currently in second place.
McIlroy had already wrapped up the U.S. PGA Tour money title with more than $8 million and he becomes the second golfer in history to win both titles in the same season, matching Luke Donald's feat from last year.
"It really is hugely satisfying to finally become the European No. 1, especially after finishing second two of the last three years," the 23-year-old McIlroy said.
"It has always been one of my goals to become No. 1 in Europe ever since securing my Tour card five years ago, but then to also end the year as both European and PGA Tour No. 1 is just amazing."
McIlroy, who captured his second major at the U.S. PGA Championship in August, needed to come from behind on Sunday in Singapore to finish in third -- and then wait for Louis Oosthuizen to lose the title in a playoff to Matteo Manassero. The South African could have still passed McIlroy if he had won Singapore and the Dubai World Championship.
McIlroy said his main focus will be to "keep trying to improve on any little thing" next year.
"It's been nice that, year after year, my results have improved and I'd like to keep that going but if I feel like I'm a better golfer next year than I was this year, and so on, then that's how I want to feel," he said.
He'd certainly like to add to his number of majors, though. Asked to rank his three biggest achievements of 2012, McIlroy didn't hesitate: "Major, No. 1, and then the money list."