McIlroy goes into the week in sixth place on the Race to Dubai and is targeting a 15th European Tour title, and with it the $3million winner's cheque - the richest first prize in tournament golf anywhere in the world.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: "The changes we have announced in terms of enhanced winner's cheques, Race to Dubai points and bonus pool dividend are created to increase the excitement around the end of the season, as well as encourage greater top player participation in our final three events".
"Last year, we weren't sure if we were going to win again with all the injuries, and it was nice to come back and do it on such a big stage against such a great field". The one thing that's got to me over the few months since The Open is, when you're shooting bad scores, people saying, "you won The Open, it doesn't matter".
The overall prize fund for the Race to Dubai remains at $8million (£6.2m). Double winners Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson - who both call Dubai a home from home - head a list of champions since its 2009 launch also including Danny Willett, Jon Rahm, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood.
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"I've won this [the Race to Dubai] three instances", McIlroy said.
"Basically ever since I became a good amateur in Spain, it's nearly been 10 straight years of non-stop".
"That will be something that will be fun for both of us", Rory said about 32-year-old Niall, a close friend, who works at a NY equity firm. When looked at the schedule after my Open Championship win, I knew I needed to be rested going into this week. "Obviously I'll maybe take on a bit more responsibility than I usually do", said McIlroy. I took on a little more responsibility writing stuff in my yardage book and pacing stuff out.
"I'd be quite critical and quite anxious around tournaments", he admitted. You know, we add four rounds of golf and a couple of points and We will see where we are.
Fitzpatrick, who won this title three years ago, has also enjoyed a stellar season but, unlike Rahm, is still looking that first victory of 2019 - there would be no better place to break his duck.
This was no clerical blunder on behalf of McIlroy or his staff, but rather the central part of a dispute with the Tour during which the Irishman threatened to quit his home circuit for the 2019 season. "If I can play like I did today for the four tournament days then I've got a decent chance of getting my hands on the trophy for a third time". The golf course has got better and better every year and it feels like a much bigger event now. Basing myself in Florida, where I now live the majority of the time and not having to travel too far from there.