Golf: McIlroy deserves top spot, says Garcia

While Sergio Garcia can mathematically still end the year as European number one he believes, after Rory McIlroy's superb season, he is more deserving of the Race to Dubai victory crown.

It is a view also shared by former double European Tour Number One Lee Westwood who stated also the European Tour should not copy the PGA Tour and alter the Race to Dubai points scoring system.

For a third week in succession McIlroy is not contesting the Tour's Final Four Series at this week's Turkish Airlines Open at Belek.

In his absence the four-time major winner is currently 2,943,563 euros ahead of second placed Jamie Donaldson of Wales and a further 93,821 euros clear of the third placed Garcia while the Spaniard is 131,919 euros in front of Germany's Marcel Siem.

Donaldson, Garcia and Siem can still deny McIlroy the European Number one crown but only with victory this week and then success also in next week's season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

And while Garcia, who is competing in this week's 78-player Turkish event for a first time, remains determined to win for a second time this season, he says McIlroy is deserving of the title.

"I'm a big believer if you have done something extraordinary to be able to achieve that, and to win the Race to Dubai before the last tournament is played, why shouldn't you be the winner?" he said.

"Rory has done something quite extraordinary this season and this summer, and he deserves to be the Race to Dubai Champion, even before we play the Dubai World Championship next week."

It's a view shared by Westwood, who was crowned European Number One in 2000 and 2009.

"If you look at Rory's season, he's won two major championships, a World Golf Championship, and our Flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, which is a phenomenal year," said Westwood.

"If you put that up in somebody's career, those four tournaments that would a good career, and Rory's achieved that in six months, basically.

"I've also looked over the last few years and it just seems that whoever wins the PGA Tour's Tour Championship wins the FedEx Cup, and if we go down that path we are into copying the PGA Tour again and copying the FedEx Cup.

"So I have no problems with the Race to Dubai being over before the final event, given this year with what Rory has done."

Defending champion Victor Dubuisson's defence preparations got off to a poor start when The Frenchman's luggage and clubs were late arriving from Paris.