McIlroy chases Donald feat at BMW Masters

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McIlroy chases Donald feat at BMW Masters

SHANGHAI - World No. 1 Rory McIlroy is banking on a strong showing at China’s BMW Masters as he bids to match Luke Donald’s historic end-of-year achievement in topping the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

McIlroy, who won his second major at the U.S. PGA Championship in August, leads the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings and the U.S. PGA Tour’s money list with just a handful of tournaments remaining in 2012.

But the 23-year-old Northern Irishman will face a strong challenge in the $7 million tournament starting Thursday from a stellar field including three of the world’s top five players - Englishmen Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose.

Donald, a former world No. 1, became the first player ever to top both money lists in a single season last year.

McIlroy is nearly $2 million ahead of the missing Tiger Woods in the United States but things are tighter in Europe, with only around 800,000 euros ($1 million) separating McIlroy from South African Branden Grace in third spot. Rose is second.

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