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November 22, 2009

Rory McIlroy


Q. You wanted to win The Race to Dubai, must be some consolation to come up against an inspired Lee Westwood. He's the only thing that stopped you?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, leading The Race to Dubai coming into this week, and then going to finish third, most times that would be good enough, but obviously Lee is just in a different class, he's playing so well. He deserves it. He's been through the highs and the lows of this game, and he's back and he's obviously in the top 5 in the world at the minute. He's going to go higher than that, and you know, he deserves all the credit he's going to get because he's played fantastically well for two years, and I suppose this is his reward for persevering for so long.

Q. You needed a fast start, didn't get it and made five birdies in six, were you thinking to put more pressure on?
RORY McILROY: No, I knew there was no chance. I was just trying to play for position. I was trying to play for second place and obviously Ross has played so well, also, with Lee the last couple of days. It looks like I'm going to finish third, whether that's on my own or tied if Padraig birdies the last. But you know, I gave it my best shot, and it's been a great season. I have no complaints.
I felt as if I've given myself a lot of chances to win. This is my 13th Top-5 I think. It's been a fantastic season, and I couldn't be happier with the way it ended, but in a way, it's been a great stepping stone and I'm really looking forward to next year.

Q. What impression do you have of these four days playing on the Earth Course?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean, I gave it my best shot. At the end of the day, it's not going to be quite good enough, but I feel as if I've played well the last four days and Lee Westwood has just played some unbelievable golf. Fair play to him. He's played really, really well, and just it was -- it just wasn't my week, and Lee's holed the right putts at the right time, and that's the way it goes.

Q. Were you taking a look at the boards or just sticking to your game?
RORY McILROY: I was looking at the boards. Obviously the front nine, I didn't really get things going. On the back nine I started to hole a few putts for birdies and every time I looked up it seemed like Lee would make another birdie. I was making birdies and just wasn't gaining any ground.
So it's been a great week. I've really enjoyed it. I've enjoyed coming here and having the chance to become The Race to Dubai champion. Has not quite worked out but put in another good performance and that's all I can ask of myself.

Q. What was going through your mind over the first few holes, a bit of frustration?
RORY McILROY: A lot of frustration. Yeah, I wanted to get off to a really good start; I wasn't able to. I hit enough good shots. The putts just weren't dropping. And then I sort of just tried to enjoy the last few holes, tried to enjoy the back nine and play them with a smile on my face, and obviously when you do that, your golf, you become a lot freer and a lot looser and I was able to make a few birdies.

Q. You had a real good at this. You finished 15-under par after four days?
RORY McILROY: At the start of the week I would have thought that would be good enough to be honest. But Lee has just played fantastic golf all the way through the week. As I said, fair play to him. For the last two years, he has been one of the best players in the world, and you know, this is his reward for playing so well over the past few seasons, couple seasons.

Q. Just about the only results, one of the few results which would win him The Race to Dubai, and he had to do it and you had to do it because it would have ensured you. What have you got out of this and the needle-like tension that existed?
RORY McILROY: It was fantastic. I think it was great for The European Tour that it came right down to the wire. You know, it was tough. It was tough to try and just keep myself focused on the job at hand, which was try to win the Dubai World Championship. You know, I thought I gave it my best shot. Obviously I had a bad finish yesterday, and the bogey at the last today wouldn't have really mattered anyway.
I'm happy the way everything has went this season. It could have -- I could have topped it all off by winning here and winning The Race to Dubai. I have plenty more years to try and do that.

Q. Two years ago when you turned pro, did you think you would have a million Euro payday, between your bonus and your prize money?
RORY McILROY: No, not really. It's an unbelievable amount of money. Yeah, that's not why I was playing today, though. I was trying to win the Dubai World Championship and I wasn't quite able to do it. But you know, I suppose it's a nice sort of consolation going into Christmas.

Q. How do you feel about the fact that you didn't win today, and you didn't win this title, as you spring board to play in both America and Europe next season? This was precious to some degree?
RORY McILROY: It was precious. I was trying to become the youngest player since Seve to win the title. You know, it would have been great to do it. You know what, I really wanted this after the PGA, because that's really all I had left of the season was to try and wrap up the Money List.
You know, I've come second and I haven't been able to do it, and you know, I'm disappointed at the minute, but you know, when I look back on the season, it's been fantastic. It's been a great learning curve. I've played well in the majors. I know that I can compete against the best players in the world now. That gives me a lot going into next year.

Q. Just how frustrated were you feeling roundabout the 7th and the 8th? There was an advertising board that seemed to be feeling the rough.
RORY McILROY: Better than JP feeling the rough I suppose. I hit my 3-wood off the advertising board and came back into the wood chips. It wasn't my favourite thing in the world at that point. But it was so frustrating because I knew I was playing well enough just to make birdies and I wasn't able to do it. I made a great birdie on 9 which sort of turned things around. After that, I played really nice golf, and the sort of golf that I know I'm capable of and I just wasn't quite able to do it when it mattered, most yesterday afternoon and this morning.

Q. How much do you think you will benefit from having been in the thick of all of it this week in the long term?
RORY McILROY: It's been great. I mean, I've given myself the best chance, a 63 in Shanghai to put me within 50 grand of Lee and to take over the lead last week with a really good last round, and then this week, it has not -- it's been there. It just has not quite happened.
I mean, I don't know even if I played that well I would have been able to get to 23-under par. Lee has played really well this week, and as I say, all the credit goes to him because he's played great over the season and he's played great over the last two seasons, and you know, he deserves it.

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