A long year for McIlroy, a sprint to the finish

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SHANGHAI (AP) -- U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy feels like it already has been a long year on and off the golf course. All he cares about now is a sprint to the finish.

McIlroy is about $1.8 million behind Luke Donald on the European Tour money list. He has a chance to cut into that deficit at the HSBC Champions, which starts Thursday. Donald is not at Sheshan International as he awaits the birth of his second child.

It's already been a memorable year for McIlroy in so many ways. His meltdown at the Masters. His wire-to-wire win at the U.S. Open. A new girlfriend in tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, and a split with his longtime manager Chubby Chandler.

McIlroy says he only wants to concentrate on his golf and finish the season strong.