Singapore: World number one Rory McIlroy can wrap up the European money title at this week's Barclays Singapore Open as he bids to cap a season of dominance by winning the merit race on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Northern Ireland star, 23, headlines the $6 million event alongside three-time winner Adam Scott from Australia and America's Phil Mickelson.
In 2012, McIlroy has reached the top ranking and won his second Major, among three other victories and the Ryder Cup, establishing himself as a superstar on a par with Tiger Woods -- complete with an expected deal with Nike.
Such is the pre-eminence of McIlroy and Woods, the world number two, that when they skipped last week's WGC-HSBC Champions in southern China, there were complaints from the tournament's sponsors.
McIlroy has a yawning $1.9 million lead on the PGA Tour prize money standings, and is nearly $1.0 million ahead on the European Tour with three to play, meaning victory in Singapore would get him home with room to spare.
He played down his chances of sealing the European title in Singapore, despite the fact that most of his rivals have already given up the chase.
"It would be nice to increase that (lead) a good bit in the next couple of weeks and it would be nice to go to Dubai knowing if I play halfway decent I'll be able to win the money list here and over in the US too," McIlroy said on Wednesday.
"There's still quite a lot to play for in the next three weeks and I want to finish off the season as strong as possible."
Only Luke Donald has won both money titles in the same season, a feat he achieved last year. But given McIlroy's record in European Tour events in Asia -- top 10 in all 10 appearances -- Donald's record looks set to be short-lived.
McIlroy said the Singapore Open's move to cut down from two courses to one, and slim the field from 200-plus, had persuaded him to return for the first time since 2008, when he finished tied fourth.
"Having it back to one course and a normal field has definitely made it more appealing," he said.
"I want to come back and see if I can do a little bit better than last time."
World number six Scott finished eighth last week in China and admits he is a "little desperate" to add to his 2005, 2006 and 2010 wins after a season which included his last-day collapse at the British Open.
"There are not that many left and this one would be a great one for me to do that," he said.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington is riding the crest of a wave after winning last month's PGA Grand Slam of Golf, his first victory in two years. In Singapore in 2008, he lost out to India's Jeev Milkha Singh by a single shot.
"It was probably my most bitter loss ever on a golf course," he said. "I was two shots ahead with three holes to play and I played them in two over par, so I came close that year and I can certainly remember those three holes very well."
Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen and John Daly are also among the eight Major-winners competing on Sentosa's par-71 Serapong Course, with a first prize of $1 million at stake.