Rory McIlroy has won the DP World Tour Championship twice and the Harry Vardon Trophy as European No.1 three times since the inception of the JGE decider, the last of them when he did the second of his two doubles on Earth in 2015.
But the four-time major champion has seemed strangely out of sorts in the past 24 months after a rib injury ruined his 2017 season and saw him bypass JGE last November.
The 29-year-old Holywood star did win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, his first victory since capturing the PGA Tour Championship and FedEx Cup in 2016. Has not won on the European Tour since the Irish Open earlier in 2016 and will still be smarting after coughing up a two-shot lead with five to play at January’s Desert Classic to open the door for Li Haotong. Desert redemption would be awfully sweet for the Northern Irishman and would no doubt stoke another premature U.S. Masters preview given the green jacket remains the only major prize missing from a career grand slam.