Planet Golf — 11 November 2012 by GW staff and news services
McIIroy double money-maker

SINGAPORE – Rory McIIroy’s big year just got bigger.

After capturing his second major and finishing the year at No. 1, McIlroy had just one goal left — winning the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic.

His third-place finish at the Singapore Open on Sunday guarantees he’ll do just that.

The Northern Irishman now has $4.7 million in winnings on the European Tour, giving him an unassailable $1.33 million advantage over Swede Peter Hanson, currently in second place.

McIlroy had already wrapped up the PGA TOUR money title with more than $8 million and he becomes the second golfer in history to win both titles in the same season, matching Luke Donald f’seat from last year.

“It really is hugely satisfying to finally become the European No. 1, especially after finishing second two of the last three years,” the 23-year-old McIlroy said.

“It has always been one of my goals to become No. 1 in Europe ever since securing my Tour card five years ago, but then to also end the year as both European and PGA TOUR No. 1 is just amazing.”

McIlroy, who captured his second major at the PGA Championship in August, needed to come from behind on Sunday in Singapore to finish in third — and then wait for Louis Oosthuizen to lose the title in a playoff to Matteo Manassero. The South African could have still passed McIlroy if he had won Singapore and the Dubai World Championship.

McIlroy said his main focus will be to “keep trying to improve on any little thing” next year.

“It’s been nice that, year after year, my results have improved and I’d like to keep that going but if I feel like I’m a better golfer next year than I was this year, and so on, then that’s how I want to feel,” he said.

He’d certainly like to add to his number of majors, though. Asked to rank his three biggest achievements of 2012, McIlroy didn’t hesitate: “Major, No. 1, and then the money list.”

McIlroy was tops on the PGA Tour money list by almost $2 million over Tiger Woods who was in second, and Tiger was about $1.2 million clear of third place. McIlroy played only 16 PGA Tour events, three fewer than Woods. You’d have to go all the way to Lee Westwood, 23rd on the money list, to find someone who played less than McIlroy (Westwood played 15).

On the European Tour list, McIlroy played just 13 events to earn top honors in the Race to Dubai, so he was pretty darn efficient when it came to scooping up money.

So, yes, McIlroy, atop both money lists, among other things. This kid is incredible, and things just keep happening for him.

There were other money stories coming to a conclusion. With the final PGA Tour event finishing Sunday, the Children’s Mircle Network Hospitals Classic – won by Charlie Beljan – the final 125 players for next season have been established.

Also, here’s a look at the top three money leaders over the past 22 years. Notice the jump the money took after 1998 – the Tiger Influence.

Below are PGA TOUR money stats dating to 1990:

Year     No. 1 Final Money List       No. 30 Final Money List       No. 125 Final Money List

2012     Rory McIlroy $8,047,952      Ben Curtis $2,494,153           Kevin Chappell $647,510

2011     Luke Donald $6,683,214      Kevin Na $2,336,965             D.J. Trahan $668,166

2010     Matt Kuchar $4,910,477       Heath Slocum $2,387,687     Troy Merritt $786,977

2009     Tiger Woods $10,508,163    Tim Clark $2,235,105            Jimmy Walker $662,683

2008      Vijay Singh $6,601,094        Hunter Mahan $2,208,855     Martin Laird $852,752

2007      Tiger Woods $10,867,052     Heath Slocum $2,184,379    Mathias Gronberg $785,180

2006      Tiger Woods $9,941,563       Ben Curtis $2,256,326         Darren Clarke $660,898

2005       Tiger Woods $10,628,024    Lucas Glover $2,050,068    Nick Price $626,736

2004       Vijay Singh $10,905,166      Kenny Perry $1,952,043      Tag Ridings $623,262

2003       Vijay Singh $7,573,907        K.J. Choi $1,999,663           Esteban Toledo $487,495

2002       Tiger Woods $6,912,625     Steve Lowery $1,882,553     Jay Williamson $515,445

2001       Tiger Woods $5,687,777     Steve Stricker $1,676,229     Woody Austin $406,352

2000        Tiger Woods $9,188,321     Carlos Franco $1,550,592    Bob Burns $391,075

1999        Tiger Woods $6,616,585     Loren Roberts $1,258,745    Charles Raulerson $326,893

1998        David Duval $2,591,031      Andrew Magee $964,302      Blaine McCallister $228,304

1997        Tiger Woods $2,066,833     Andrew Magee $752,007      Neal Lancaster $179,273

1996        Tom Lehman $1,780,159    Duffy Waldorf $604,382        Dicky Pride $167,852

1995        Greg Norman $1,654,959    Nick Price $611,700             John Wilson $149,280

1994        Nick Price $1,499,927        Mark Calcavecchia $533,201  Dennis Paulson $142,515

1993        Nick Price $1,478,557        Billy Mayfair $513,072            Ronnie Black $120,041

1992       Fred Couples $1,344,188    Steve Pate $472,626             Roger Maltbie $109,742

1991       Corey Pavin $979,430         Ian Woosnam $485,023        John Adams $117,549

1990       Greg Norman $1,165,477    John Huston $435,690          Bob Eastwood $123,908

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