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McIlroy: It's over - I can't catch Luke Donald now

Rory McIlroy has admitted that his bid to become the top golfer on the 2011 European Tour has failed, and paid tribute to Luke Donald.

Image: Kamran Jebreili/AP/Press Association Images

RORY McILROY HAS admitted that his bid to snatch the European Tour’s number one spot from Luke Donald is over for this year, despite the fact that there is another round to go in the Dubai World Championship.

McIlroy does not believe he can rise from eighth place to grab the win he needs, while Donald is unlikely to drop from his current fourth place to outside the top nine.

“It’s over, definitely,” said the Northern Irishman, who has been suffering with suspected Dengue fever for the past few days.

“I expect to see Luke play another solid round and he fully deserves it,” said McIlroy, whose double bogey on the seventh hole severely damaged his round.

“I don’t think he has been given enough credit for the golf he’s played. People outside just look at wins and think that’s the be-all and end-all.

“But to have the amount of top fives and top 10s he has you need to be incredibly consistent. From within the golfing family he will receive a lot of plaudits.”

Should Donald – who has topped the world rankings since May – clinch the Tour number one spot, he will become the first man in history to win the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic in the same season.

Donald’s bogey-free 66 left him on ten-under for the tournament, just four shots adrift of leader Alvaro Quiros.

Poll: Who will win the Clasico? >

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