Rory McIlroy insists he has not yet committed to a new club sponsor for 2013.
Speaking on the eve of the Barclays Singapore Open, he said: “I’m a Titleist player until the end of the year, I’ve made no commitment to any company going for next year, it’s a process we’re working through and you’ll probably hear about it in the next few weeks.”
Whatever about his off-course contractual business - he did not deny that he is heading to Nike - McIlroy can kill off the European Tour’s Race to Dubai with victory in Singapore and match Luke Donald by topping the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.
He’s €764,776 ahead of second placed Peter Hanson but with the Swede and English duo of Justin Rose (third) and Ian Poulter (fourth) all opting to rest, the 23-year old can become only the third Irish golfer to win the Harry Vardon Trophy after Ronan Rafferty in 1989 and Padraig Harrington in 2006.
He said: “I’m in the lead at the minute, and it would be nice to increase that. I’ve had a good run in the last couple of weeks, and it would be nice to go to Dubai with a healthy lead.
“It’s good to know that if I play half way decent in my remaining tournaments, I can win the money lists in Europe and the US. There’s still a lot to play for in the next three weeks, and now I want to finish off the season as strongly as possible.”
Seeking his fifth win of the year, he added: “It’s been a very successful year, winning my first major championship in 2011 was a huge milestone, a huge stepping stone in my career and I want to follow up next season with another major championship.
“I’ve achieved all the goals I wanted to this year, I wanted to win a Major, I wanted to get to world number one, win a few tournaments around the world.
“The season is not over yet, there’s another three tournaments left and it would be great to get another win or two before the season’s finished.
“It has been a great year, if I can just keep doing the same things and just try and become better at certain aspects of the game, that’s what I need to do to just keep progressing and get better year by year, I’ve done that every year since I turned pro. Hopefully I can still keep that progression going.”
As for the criticism he and Tiger Woods received for not playing last week’s WGC HSBC Champions in China, McIlroy explained that it would have meant playing five events in a row.
“It’s a big event, it’s a tough one to miss,” he said, while admitting that criticism from HSBC’s Giles Morgan was “fair.”
He added: “I can’t play every week. If I had I would have played five in a row finishing the season and after playing Turkey and Ryder Cup and all the FedEx Cup stuff, it’s just too much.”
He plans to try and cut back his schedule next year and is unsure if he will play all four of the proposed end of season playoffs on the European Tour - the BMW Masters, the HSBC CHampions, the Turkish Open and the DP World Championship.
“I’m not sure, it’s a long season, you’ve got a really busy summer, with the Open Championship, Firestone, PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup,” he said. “I’ll play three out the four, it’s a question if I play the fourth.”
On the challenge of playing both the European and US tours, he said: “You can play 20 events a year and be a member providing you get to the Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai at the end of the season. So 22-23 is the number I’ll be looking for next year.”