Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington will continue their single-minded chase for major glory by doing things their own special way next season.
But before that the Ryder Cup pair admit that they’d love to head for their final events of the season with the spectacular Dubai World Championship baton safely packed into their luggage.
Neither can win the Race to Dubai but both men are eager to grab as many world ranking points as they can as well as a massive cash pay-out as they come to the end of roller-coaster seasons.
For McIlroy, who lost out to Lee Westwood at Jumeirah Golf Estates for the money title last year, the event is a reminder of why he’s not rejoining the PGA Tour next year and intending to play just “nine or 10” events in the US in 2011.
Controversially for some, his schedule is unlikely to feature The Players at Sawgrass next May. But McIlroy has reasons for skipping the so-called Fifth Major, which offers the biggest purse in golf.
“I don’t like the golf course for a start,” he said bluntly. “Not to say The Players isn’t a great event - it’s very prestigious and it would be great to win it one day - but it just might not suit the schedule next year.”
He wants to defend his Quail Hollow title the previous week and concentrate on events such as the Volvo World Match Play in Spain and the BMW PGA at Wentworth, which are also taking place next May.
“They are two big events in the Race to Dubai and I want to try to win that,” he said. “I can’t win it this year because I didn’t play enough (in Europe). It’s a goal of mine. I sort of let it pass me by last year and it would be nice to come back and try and win it.”
As for The Players, he said: “Sawgrass is a place that doesn’t really suit my eye. I have missed the cut there the last two years and it’s just a place that I feel I’ll struggle to do well at.”
The world No 10 insisted that he has nothing against the PGA Tour but just needs to cut back his schedule after a gruelling year crisscrossing the Atlantic. Next week’s Chevron World Challenge in Los Angeles, for example, will be his 28th event of the year.
“That’s too much,” he said. “I want to try and cut it down to under 25 and to do that I needed to concentrate on one tour.”
Harrington’s win in Malaysia six weeks ago was his first for two years and he’s determined to draw a line under a “disappointing” year in which he missed the cut in three of the four majors by winning in Dubai and then taking the Nedbank Challenge title in Sun City next week.
“Big time, I’d like a win in my last two events to finish the year on a high,” he said. “I’ve been feeling very good in practice all year. But I’ve had a very disappointing year in terms of playing worse in tournaments than I have in practice.
“I have played a lot better this year than my results. It was nice to win, as always, but I will be disappointed walking away from the year. In a year or two I will look back at it as a year I won, so it won’t feel as bad then as it does now.”