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PGA Tour Confidential: Rory McIlroy wins Dubai World Championship

Rory McIlroy, Dubai World Championship
David Cannon / Getty Images
Rory McIlroy won the Dubai World Championship for his fifth title of 2012.

Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: The Boy Wonder, playing in the Euro event in Dubai, won by two over Justin Rose. Rory McIlroy took the Euro money title to go with his PGA Tour money title, but did he have to play too much to accomplish this Daily Double? Will all this autumn golf show up in his play next year when it matters most? If you were his manager, what scheduling advice would you give the young master? Money titles are nice. The No. 1 ranking is nice. But my view is that he should be doing everything he can to win at Augusta, and there's a lot to be said for a total shutdown, or close to it, in November and December.

John Garrity, contributing writer, Sports Illustrated: Your view makes sense, Michael, but Rory played his best golf at the end of the season, right when he was complaining about being tired. If I were his manager, I'd give him the same schedule and see what happens.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Rory was definitely a little burned-out down the stretch, but it's a measure of his professionalism that he played with such intensity. He now has only one event in the next two months, so he can catch up on his rest. But lesson learned: he'll play less in 2013.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Winning never gets old, and I wonder if Rory isn't building a Tiger-like persona of invincibility. The Masters is more than four months away, and the kid is 23, so he has plenty of time for rest. He'll kick back with good thoughts of how he became the most dominant force in golf. And he'll come back relaxed, ready and oozing confidence.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: I'm not too worried about Rory burning out. I think it's more important he get in the habit of winning, a lot, as Tiger did. Consider 2012 a rousing success on that front.

Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: McIlroy wants to be a global star, so he's going to need to keep a global schedule. Long-term, he needs to limit his schedule like Tiger and Nicklaus if he wants to win like them. Short-term, it's hard to really question anything he's doing when you look at the results.

Charlie Hanger, executive editor, I think all the playing is good for him. Keeps the game sharp to play a lot of tournament golf. Maybe cut one or two of the Asian cash-grabs next year, but I don't think you can totally shut it down in November and December in today's world. There's too much money and international exposure out there, and quite a bit of good competition too.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Alan was right on. There's too much money and too many ranking points out there? Rory doesn't need any more of those. They're meaningless. What matters are wins, especially major wins. It doesn't matter when Rory plays as long as he's ready to play when he does. If that means taking November or February or May off, that's what he should do.

Hanger: Agree on points and money and majors, but I think wins in Dubai, even in late November, are good muscle memory for a player to have when the majors roll around.

Godich: Look at the guys behind Rory on the leader board this week: Rose, Schwartzel, Oosthuizen and Donald. How can you not be anything but energized after beating a field like that?

Van Sickle: Sure, but there is competition somewhere for 12 months of the year. He should play where he wants. He can skip as many events as he wants, too.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Rory had a busy autumn, but it was also his best stretch of the season. I'd like to see him play a bunch of events in February and March to potentially peak at Augusta and then take it down a notch in October and November. But then again, he did just complete one of the best seasons in golf history. If his body can handle it again in 2013, why change anything?

Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, To me, winning both money titles is an achievement you do only once, and you do it while you're young. Now that Rory's done it, he only needs to get himself ready for four dates on the calendar, like Tiger and Phil.

Van Sickle: Exactly. That mountain has been climbed. Ho hum, now it's on to complete the career Grand Slam and start piling up major championships.

Garrity: You're right about Rory's priorities, but how does he "get himself ready" for those four dates on the calendar? I don't think he does it by sleeping in his own bed every night and beating balls every afternoon. He needs to play in tournaments and win tournaments. He needs to stay tournament-tough.

Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Woods has this schedule thing down pat. He'll be Rory's model in the future.

Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: At some point, someone's going to come along who doesn't necessarily adhere to Jack's and Tiger's world view that the majors are all that matters. Maybe Rory's goal is to win 300 times around the world, and the next generation will be inspired by matching that mark. The majors are great, but without the Jack-Tiger obsessiveness, they wouldn't have the all-or-nothing quality to them.

Van Sickle: That raises the question of whether players think it's even possible to catch Jack or Tiger. If not, why not try to set the mark for most WGC titles won? Or the record for the most appearance-fee money? Either is good business.

Herre: There's only one golf record that's meaningful to all -- 18.

Van Sickle: Exactly my point. How many players realistically are chasing that? You think Hunter Mahan is taking dead aim at Jack's 18 majors? Nick Watney? It's great to dream, but some players probably should aim slightly lower, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Should McIlroy cut back on his tournament schedule in 2013? And do any records in pro golf matter besides Jack's 18 majors?

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