Rory McIlroy was pleased to secure his place in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai with a sixth-placed finish in the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
McIlroy went into the tournament needing to climb from 62nd in the money list and put more pressure on himself by deciding not to play in next week's Turkish Airlines Open.
Although he failed to pressure eventual winner Dustin Johnson, McIlroy's closing round of 69 was enough for a good pay-day and a move up to a safe 38th place in the Race to Dubai.
"It was a good week. It was a step in the right direction for sure," said McIlroy.
"I don't think anyone could have competed with Dustin this week. He played very, very well and obviously is a deserved champion.
"I just didn't make enough birdies. I didn't take advantage of the par fives today and some of the short par fours.
"It's probably one of my only bogey-free rounds of the year but it just didn't contain enough birdies. It's something to build on and nice to go into an off week now and I know that I'm into Dubai.
Three tournaments left
"It would have been nice to try to get a win. I have three more tournaments left this year and I want to try to finish the season strongly.
"Obviously I have good memories going to Dubai from winning there last year, so hopefully I can put up a strong defence of my title there."
McIlroy's Ryder Cup team-mate Luke Donald remains on the bubble for Dubai, though, with his 31st place only enough to see him climb from 61st to 55th in the rankings - only the top 60 qualify.
Watch the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open from Thursday, with the first day's live coverage on Sky Sports 4 from 9:00am