Entering this week's WGC-HSBC Champions at No. 62 in the Race to Dubai standings, Rory McIlroy had not yet secured an invitation to the European Tour finale at the DP World Tour Championship Dubai.
With a T-6 finish in Shanghai on Sunday, however, McIlroy locked up a spot in the top 60 and a place in the final event of the year. Now at 38th, McIlroy will face no pressure from the field at next week's Turkish Airlines Open, the last event before the conclusion of the inaugural Finals Series.
McIlroy closed with 69, ending well back of winner Dustin Johnson, but the week guarantees him a chance to defend the title he won last year in the United Arab Emirates. Still searching for his first win of the year, McIlroy is looking forward to rekindling victorious memories.
"It would have been nice to try to get a win," McIlroy said. "I have three more tournaments left this year and I want to try to finish the season strongly.Obviously I have good memories going to Dubai from winning there last year, so hopefully I can put up a strong defence of my title there."
In the last two weeks, McIlroy has finished T-2 against weaker competition in OneAsia's Kolon Korea Open and notched a T-6 at the WGC-HSBC Champions.