Rory McIlroy wants to become the first Irish winner of next month's €3.25m Volvo World Match Play Championship.

Finca CortesinAnd that means he is skipping the European Tour's clashing €3.3m Barclays Singapore Open, where Padraig Harrington and Phil Mickelson will go head to head.

The Holywood star, 20, reckons he has a better chance of winning the Race to Dubai by heading to Spain to take on his main rivals for the European money title in the "Champions League" style matchplay tournament.

The elite, 16-man championship has moved from its traditional stomping ground at Wentworth to Finca Cortesín near Malaga from October 29 to November 1.

And with his main Race to Dubai rivals Martin Kaymer and Paul Casey also set to tee it up there, McIlroy can kill two birds with one stone by snatching the €750,000 winner’s cheque.

Only €541,666 will count towards the Race to Dubai as it is a limited field event.

But McIlroy’s handler at ISM, Stuart Cage, believes it makes perfect sense to take a three hour flight to Spain instead of making a gruelling 7,000 mile trek to Singapore for an almost identical prize fund - the winner's cheque in Singapore is for $833,330 or €568,000.

Cage said: "They are two great events and Rory would love to play both. But it makes sense to go to Spain. The break down of the prize funds in the Match Play and Singapore are more of less the same. It’s also a lot closer to home and with only 16 guys playing.

"Even if you have a bad week in Spain you can’t finish any worse than 13th. But in Singapore you could miss the cut."

McIlroy was the star of the show in last month's Vivendi Trophy and only lost to eventual champion Geoff Ogilvy in the quarter-finals of the Accenture Match Play in Tucson in February.

But he faces some serious opposition in three weeks’ time with Ross Fisher, Oliver Wilson, Simon Dyson and Masters champion Angel Cabrera joining Kaymer, Casey, Lee Westwood, Retief Goosen, Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas, Robert Allenby, Jeev Milkha Singh, Scott Strange, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia in a star-studded field.

An Irishman has yet to win the World Match Play Championship, which has produced a who’s who of champions over the past 45 years.

Padraig Harrington lost to Ian Woosnam in 2001 final with Paul McGinley outgunned by US Open champion Michael Campbell in the 2005 decider.

The new format will see the 16-man field divided into four groups of four players, seedings based upon their Official World Golf Ranking:

Within groups of four, every player will play each other in a round robin format over full 18-hole matches. (NB. Each match will complete 18 holes every time).

Points will be awarded based upon win, tie or loss. The leading player from each group will qualify for the semi-final knock out stage. (Aggregate number of holes won will be used to determine tied positions).

Semi-finals played over 36 holes in head-to-head match play.

Semi-final winners will progress to the Volvo World Match Play Championship Final.

Semi-final losers will contest the Volvo World Match Play Championship Consolation Match.

The Volvo World Match Play Championship Final will be played over 36 holes in head-to-head match play.

The Volvo World Match Play Championship Consolation Match will be played over 18 holes in head-to head-match play.

The Prize Money for the 2009 Volvo World Match Play Championship will be €3,250,000 divided as follows (Race to Dubai money in brackets):

1st: €750,000 (€541,666.70)
2nd: €450,000 (€361,107.50)
3rd: €250,000 (€220,345)
4th: €200,000 (€162,500)
Runner up in group: €150,000 (€107,575)
3rd in Group: €130,000 (€63,375)
4th in Group: €120,000 (€48,912.50)