Murray's 7-6 6-1 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut in the final saw him add to the China Open title last weekend, a run of 10 straight victories, all in straight sets.
With current World No.1 Novak Djokovic beaten amid a flurry of broken rackets by Bautista Agut in the semifinals in Shanghai
, there is a real possibility that Murray can achieve his life's ambition.
"My goal wasn't to finish No. 1 at the end of this year but in the early parts of next year there is an opportunity," Murray told Sky Sports.
"In the last few months, I have won a lot of matches and made improvements," he added.
The emphatic victory and his third title in Shanghai, matching great rival Djokovic, has seen him draw to within 915 points of the Serbian in the year-end points battle.
Spain's Bautista Agut rarely looked capable of denying Murray his 41st career crown, but did break back as the Scot served for the first set.
It went to a tiebreak, won emphatically by Murray, with the second set a one-sided affair as he wrapped up victory in one hour 37 minutes.
It was Murray's 13th Masters 1000 title and carries on his fine form since winning the Wimbledon and Rio Olympic crowns.
Djokovic, who has been battling niggling injuries and fatigue, will skip next week's tournament in Vienna, where Murray will bid for his seventh title of the season to cut the gap still further.
The season will conclude with the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals in London, which Murray will bid to win for the first time to wrest the top ranking from defending champion Djokovic.
On the WTA Tour, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark continued her fine late season form by beating Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-1 6-7 6-2 in the final of the Hong Kong Open.
It was her second title since the US Open with a run of 19 wins and only three defeats.