Sky's the limit for Rory

Instant star Rory McIlroy can't wait to smash even more records on his way to the top of world golf.

That scintillating birdie-birdie finish at the Home of Golf made him the fastest player in history to earn his European Tour card.

Now McIlroy has set his sights on becoming Europe's youngest tournament winner and the youngest player in the history of the Ryder Cup.

Currently holding down the eighth automatic spot in Nick Faldo's Ryder Cup side, McIlroy can't wait to rack up more rankings points and ensure a dream debut in Kentucky next year.

Winning a tour event would be the fastest way to get them and as he assessed that possibility, McIlroy said: "Bring it on!"

European skipper Nick Faldo has been a pal of McIlroy's since he was talented spotted for Faldo's golfing foundation five years ago.

And McIlroy joked: "I'll have to be extra nice to Nick next year. Ryder Cup? Bring it on. If I can play 20 tournaments the way I played last week I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be on that team.

"I am going to take it one step at a time but if I make that Ryder Cup team next year it would just be absolutely amazing. I can hardly put into words what it would mean.

"One of the main things for me now is to try and get a win under my belt because I have come quite close already.

"If I can go out and put myself in contention then I will learn all the time. If I can do that I will have a chance to get it done.

"I have chances in Madrid and Portugal between now and the end of the year and if I can have a few top 10s in those events I might even get into the Volvo Masters in Valderrama."

It's been a whirlwind ride for McIlroy since he shared 42nd place on his pro debut in the Quinn Direct British Masters two weeks ago.

Just a week before his debut, he cruised through the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School after saying goodbye to the amateur ranks at the Walker Cup.

Less than a month later he has his Tour card in his pocket and Ryder Cup qualifying points on his mind.

And while he's still shocked about how quickly it has worked out for him, McIlroy can't wait to continue his climb to the top.

Speaking from Holywood Golf Club, where he pitched up early yesterday to hit some balls, he said: "If you had told me at the Oxfordshire when I was there for PQ1 a few weeks ago that I would be standing at the Dunhill Links on Sunday night with my tour card I would have said, no way.

"To be the fastest player ever to do it is just fantastic. Now all I am thinking about is winning an event and I probably should have won yesterday.

"I played the par fives in three over, which wasn't too good. If I had made a par at 14 and a birdie at five, which is an easy par five, I might have won.

"Not having to go to tour school is just fantastic. Only having five events to get my tour card was a long shot. I knew it was possible to do it but to actually do it was unbelievable.

"I never thought about my card at all on Sunday. When I birdied the 10th to get to 15 under I was just thinking about winning to be honest and getting a two year exemption!

"I knew if I played well my tour card would take care of itself. And I knew coming up the last I needed to make a birdie to have a chance and I hit a great sand wedge to a couple of feet. I just did it when I had to and it worked out."

Dale Hayes won the 1971 Spanish Open to become the youngest ever winner on the European Tour at 18 years and 290 days.

But McIlroy still has nearly three months to beat that mark and he will be going all out for as many Ryder Cup points as he can between now and 31 August next year.

McIlroy's manager Chubby Chandler pulled every string in the book and used European Tour boss George O'Grady to swing McIlroy an invitation to play in this week's Madrid Open.

And after playing with him as partner to Lee Westwood in the Dunhill Links, Chandler is predicting a huge future for the hottest young property in golf.

Beaming the smile of a man who stands to make a fortune on McIlroy's talent, Chandler said: "I knew he was good, but I had no idea he was that good. How pleased am I with signing him now?

"It was just staggering to watch him close up. I've told Rory that he has just rewritten what was being mapped out for him. I can't see him playing in anything that does not carry Ryder Cup points."

McIlroy was down on one over par after starting his second round at St Andrews by going in the burn short of the green for a double-bogey six.

But Chandler said: "I thought at the time it could be the best thing for him. I felt there was a ton of birdies in him and his head did not go down for a minute.

"That was the most impressive thing - that combined with the variety of shots. He shapes the ball both ways depending on where the flag in, sometimes he puts fierce spin on it and other times he lets the ball run up."

The improvement in McIlroy's game has been astounding this year and he puts that down to becoming more comfortable with his surroundings and the influence of tour caddie Gordon Faulkner.

Top of the putting statistics at St Andrews, he showed his class on the Road Hole 17th when he rifled a 192 yard six iron to eight feet at canned the putt on Sunday evening

Chandler added: "In that he was Tiger-esque and you just don't hit the shot he hit into the 17th in the final round unless you can really play."

He then pitched stone dead that last to birdie again and looked on as Paul Lawrie's late bogey moved him from tied fourth to solo third and guaranteed he earned enough to get his card.

Explaining the improvement in his game, McIlroy said: "I am just not making as many mistakes. I am making fours when a four is a good score at a hole and taking my chances when they come.

"I am making fewer bogeys and hiting to the fat of the green most of the time. And I think having Gordy on he bag as well has greatly improved the way I play. He gets me round the golf course.

"On 17 on Sunday Gordy told me just to aim 20 feet right of the pin. But I didn't take any notice and just hit it straight at the flag to eight feet.

"When I handed back the club I said, who do you think I am. I was always going to go for that pin. I had 192 yards to the pin and it was one of those shots that comes off one time out of ten."

Caddie Faulkner was impressed by the skill of his young boss, adding: "The guy plays like a man double his age. He takes punches harder than Mike Tyson can throw them. He was unbelievable."

McIlroy enjoyed playing alongside Chandler and Westwood for the first three days. But having girlfriend Holly Sweeney cheering him on from behind the ropes made it all the sweeter.

McIlroy said: "It was a great environment to play golf in and we were taking the mickey out of each other and having a great laugh, I got on really well with everyone.

"Overall, having mum and Dad there on Sunday and my girlfriend Holly over for the week made a big difference. Holly is my lucky charm now I will have to bring here along to a few more events now."