Battle for No.1 .... Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.
Battle for No.1 .... Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. Eric Gay

McIlroy sets sights on Jason Day's No.1 world ranking

GOLF: Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy can take Jason Day's crown as the world No.1 with a win in the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship this week in Dubai.

McIlroy is unlikely to retain his European Tour money-list title but a win would cap off a spectacular year in which he collected the $A13 million on offer in the FedExCup series in the United States.

"I still have a lot to play for this week,” McIlroy told Sky Sports television. "If I can win I will finish the year as world No.1 so that's a huge incentive.”

Day has been world No.1 since March. McIlroy hasn't been on top since August 2015.

The Northern Irishman is fourth in the European Tour money list behind British Open champion Henrik Stenson, US Masters winner Danny Willett and Swede Alex Noren, who won the Nedbank Challenge crown in South Africa.

McIlroy skipped this month's Turkish Airlines Open because of security fears, costing him possible prizemoney.

Asked if he regretted missing the event, he said: "No, not at all. If I hadn't won the FedExCup then maybe it would have been a different scenario but I have won the Race to Dubai before and hopefully I can win it again.”