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McIlroy feat is better: Donald

LUKE DONALD doesn't think his feat in becoming the first player to claim the money titles on the PGA and European Tour in the same season quite stacks up with how Rory McIlroy achieved the double this year.

"Twelve months ago I came here with a lot of pressure trying to win the Race to Dubai and with Rory right on my tail and with a lot more excitement surrounding the final event," Donald said after arriving in Dubai. "But this time around Rory's already wrapped up the title.

"What Rory's done this year has made what I did last year seem pretty ordinary."

Donald arrived into Dubai on Monday after winning the Dunlop Phoenix Open, his first victory in Japan.

It was his third title of the season following wins on the PGA Tour and European Tour.

Unlike when he arrived here in 2011, Donald has no chance of reclaiming the number one spot on the European Tour this year because McIlroy locked up the title by finishing third at the Singapore Open earlier this month.

Irvine in pro deal

CYCLING: Martyn Irvine's fine performances on the velodrome over the past couple of years have landed him a professional contract with American team UnitedHealthcare for 2013.

Irvine has long been Ireland's most versatile cyclist.

Major victories such as a stage win at the An Post Ras and four national titles on the road sit alongside three national track titles and two silver medals at the UCI Track World Cup.

Although he has ridden for semi-pro outfits such as the Irish-based Pezula team and the Asian-based RTS Racing, Irvine has not been given the chance to show what he can do in some of the world's biggest races until now.