Blond bomber Rory McIlroy plans to streak to victory in the UBS Hong Kong Open.
The big-hitting Holywood star, 21, set tongues wagging worldwide over his new blond hairstyle.
But he shrugged off criticism of his barmy barnet and vowed to have the last laugh at Fanling on Sunday.
Hoping to be the “mane” man and win on the Europe circuit for the first time in 21 months, McIlroy said: “There is not enough blonde in it. But I’m going to get more put in it when I get back from Tiger’s event (in LA).
“It’s just something different. When you go home to Northern Ireland in the middle of November you get pretty bored. I just thought it would be a good laugh. And they say that blondes have more fun. So let’s see if that can work this week.”
McIlroy loves Hong Kong where he first played in the Faldo Junio Series as a teenager. As a professional he’s finishing second in the event for the past two years, losing in a play-off two years ago before coming up two shots shy of Gregory Bourdy last year.
And after shooting more birdies in practice than Race to Dubai hopeful Graeme McDowell, he headed off for a night at the races with an extra $100 bill in his pocket.
Gunning for victory, McIlroy beamed: “It’s one of the best weeks of the year. The golf is great and UBS put on a great show and they’re taking us the races at Happy Valley tonight. I love coming here and it would be nice to get that win here that’s so far eluded me.”
McDowell joined McIlroy at the racing in an effort to relieve the tension of his grim battle with US PGA champ Martin Kaymer for the Race to Dubai title.
With the German taking the week off, he’s determined to slash Kaymer’s €367,600 lead before next week’s megabucks Dubai World Championship decider.
McDowell said: “It will make Christmas dinner taste even better if I can push Martin all the way to the line next week. Whether I go past him or not, it feels good to give myself an opportunity to win the order of merit considering the type of season he has had.”
Kaymer scorched nearly €1 million clear of McDowell at the top of the Race to Dubai when he clinched his fourth win of the season in last month’s Dunhill Links.
But after winning in Spain three weeks ago and then taking third in Singapore on Monday, McDowell is finishing like a derby winner.
Before heading off for a flutter on the gee gees, McDowell said: “I am making a big push towards Dubai. This week is important and next week is huge. From here on out it is hard work and try to get the balance right between working hard and staying physically fresh and ready for next week as well.
“The form is good. I set out in these five weeks to put a shine on the season. I could have easily kicked back after the Ryder Cup and put the feet up and called it a year.
“But I wanted to finish strong and it will make Christmas dinner taste even better if I can push Martin all the way to the line next week.
“Whether I go past him or not, to give myself an opportunity to win the order of merit considering the type of season he has had, feels good.
“Setting out on this run I really had doubts whether I could get close to him. To play as well as I did at Valderrama and win there and then a third place last week. And he hasn’t had the best three weeks.
“I figured if he kept playing the way he was playing, he would be uncatchable, but he has given me a little chance.”
Before setting off for the racetrack, McDowell joked: “I like going to the racing at Happy Valley. A cold beer and gambling, that’s my scene, believe it or not.”
And the Race to Dubai?
“Martin was many lengths clear with a couple of fences to go but we have a couple of furlongs left and I am coming up on the rails. Fast.”