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Golf Roundup: McIlroy aims to be No. 1 on both money lists

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Rory McIlroy, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, has set his schedule for the rest of the year and it's clear he is trying to equal the feat of Luke Donald, who last year became the first player to lead the money lists on both major tours in the same season.

McIlroy leads the PGA Tour with $8,047,952, nearly $2 million ahead of Tiger Woods, and his 2,813,962 in euro dollars puts him about 45,000 ahead of Justin Rose on the European Tour with several events remaining.

There was a question as to whether McIlroy would defend his title in the Hong Kong Open on Nov. 15-18, but he officially committed last week to the tournament, sanctioned by the Euro Tour.

"There had been a little doubt over Hong Kong, but now that it's all sorted out with the sponsor and so on, I am going to defend my title," McIlroy said.

McIlroy also will tee it up in the BMW Masters in Shanghai from Oct. 25-28 and the Singapore Open from Nov. 8-11 before playing in the season-ending DP Dubai World Championship from Nov. 22-25.

--Pat Hickey, president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, has offered Rory McIlroy the opportunity to carry the Irish flag in the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro if he decides to compete for Ireland.

McIlroy, from Holywood, Northern Ireland, is eligible to compete in the Olympics for Ireland or Great Britain and has said he will take his time before making a decision.

"I will say to Rory that if he declares for Ireland, then he will automatically put himself in pole position to carry the Irish tricolour into the Olympic stadium in Rio," Hickey said.

"What he has done on the world stage for Irish golf is absolutely astonishing. Personally, I would dearly love for him to represent Ireland."

Golf will be contested in the Olympics for the first time since the 1904 Games in St. Louis.

--Ken Venturi, the 1964 U.S. Open champion and a longtime golf commentator on television, has been selected for induction to the World Golf Hall of Fame through the Lifetime Achievement Category.

The 81-year-old Venturi, who grew up playing at Harding Park in San Francisco, joins Fred Couples in the Class of 2013, which will be honored in the induction ceremony on May 6, 2013, at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.

The ceremony kicks of Players Championship week at nearby TPC Sawgrass.

"The greatest reward in life is to be remembered, and I thank the World Golf Hall of Fame for remembering me," said Venturi, who won 14 times on the PGA Tour. "It's the dream of a lifetime.

" ... The last time I had tears in my eyes was when I won the U.S. Open. This has been a special day, and I'm deeply honored."

Venturi endured temperatures in excess of 100 degrees and severe dehydration to win his only major championship by four strokes over Tommy Jacobs in a marathon 36-hole final day at Congressional Country Club.

Carpel tunnel syndrome forced Venturi out of competitive golf and he joined the CBS television team in 1968, serving as one of the most respected voices in the game for 35 years.

In 2000, he received the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award. Also that year, he captained the United States team to victory in the Presidents Cup.

--Tiger Woods has considered joining the European Tour in the past and said last week he will again consider it if officials of the Euro Tour make the expected changes to membership qualification.

The European Tour is expected to announce that participation in the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and Seve Trophy will count toward the 13 events needed for tour membership.

"I knew I would have to play one or two more events back then when it was 11 (in 2000), but now that criteria is 13," he said at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final.

"I don't know what my numbers are, (but) I know I played 19 (tournaments) in the States this year and whether it crosses over or not, but I will again look at it. I did play Abu Dhabi, but then 13 are certainly a lot more than 11, especially playing full-time in the States."

Woods would be only three events short of the 13 if the list included the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup (which are played in alternate years), the four majors, the four World Golf Championship events and appearances in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

--Turkey, which made its first foray into global professional golf last week with the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, will be host to an event on the European Tour for the first time next season.

The $7-million Turkish Open will be played Nov. 7-10, 2013, on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal Course in Antalya, Turkey. It will precede the European Tour's final event of the year, the DP Dubai World Championship.

With a field of only 78 players and leading to the 60-man Dubai World Open, it will make the final two events of the European Tour a bit like the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour, where the fields shrink over four events.

Turkey is trying to raise its profile in the world of sports in hopes of landing the Olympic Games at some point in the future.

--Ahmet Agaoglu, president of the Turkish Golf Federation, apologized for allegedly head-butting a photographer on the first tee before Tiger Woods' opening-round match last week in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals.

The altercation took place when security guards were attempting to move photographers out of the way as Woods and Charl Schwartzel were about to tee off.

"They were pushing the security guards and one of them pushed me, and I replied by pushing him back as well," Agaoglu said. "I am trying to make everything this week so perfect and it's unfortunate my reaction happened.

"However, I will prepare a written apology and send it to him apologizing for my own actions. ... The poor guy was in the wrong place in the wrong time."

Agaoglu was seen arguing with the photographer and telling him to move off Woods' intended line of the tee shot before security staff removed the accredited Turkish-born journalist, Cihat Unal, from the tee.

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