Major winner Geoff Ogilvy is tipping Rory McIlroy to take over from Tiger Woods as world No 1.
But the Ulster kid’s first goal is to become king of Europe so he can hurry home and play with his new Lamborghini.
McIlroy is just €52,320 behind Race to Dubai leader Lee Westwood as the top two go head to head in this week’s UBS Hong Kong Open.
And after getting to a play-off last year, the Holywood idol believes he can go one better and leave Westwood choking on exhaust fumes before next week’s season-ending Dubai World Championship.
McIlroy said: “I love Hong Kong. It’s one of the weeks on tour I really look forward to and I think there’s about €50,000 between me and Lee so it should make for a very exciting finish to the season.
“Hopefully I’ll gain some more ground on Lee, I played great there last year and coming into the event with the momentum from Shanghai is a great feeling.”
McIlroy can’t wait to finish up his year so he can get home and play with his latest toy - a €170,000 Lamborghini.
He said: “I’ve traded in the Ferrari for a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 in white so I’m really looking forward to getting home in a few weeks to put it through its paces.”
Former US Open champion Ogilvy reckons McIlroy is already in the Formula 1 class after watching him close with a stunning course record 63 to finish fourth the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Outscored by four shots, Ogilvy said: “He’s potentially the next Number 1 in the world. He impressed the hell out of me in the Match Play in Tucson and he did nothing to damage that reputation in Shanghai.”
Darren Clarke needs a top finish in Hong Kong to make the top 60 in the money list who qualify for next week’s Dubai World Championship.
The Ulsterman is 63rd and nearly €20,000 adrift of the magic number entering the final regular season event.
The late addition of the JBWere Australian Masters in Melbourne is a godsend to Gary Murphy, who was seventh reserve for Hong Kong.
That bad news is that Murphy could need to a top five finish to keep his tour card at Kingston Heath.
The Kilkenny man is 127th and nearly €30,000 outside the top 115 who will get full cards next season and he will face the likes of Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Stuart Appleby at Kingston Heath.
Woods is getting €2m ($3m) just to turn up.