x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Rory McIlroy to relax after year of 'great progress' as world No 2

The Northern Irishman can't wait to go away on holiday before coming back to the UAE next month.

DUBAI // Rory McIlroy has put away his clubs, booked a holiday and will not be seen in a tournament again until the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship at the end of next month.

The Northern Irishman never challenged for the Dubai World Championship yesterday after starting the final round six shots behind the eventual winner Alvaro Quiros.

McIlroy finished tied for 11th after his round ended in a 71 that took him to nine under.

McIlroy is still feeling the effects of a virus, and a visit to a doctor on Saturday night convinced him to take a break before he heads back to the UAE for the January 26-29 event and a field that includes Tiger Woods.

"I can't wait to go away," he said.

"It will be nice not having to get up to practice or hit a shot and people won't be telling me what to do or where to go. Having a few weeks off is going to be nice. I'll be back to Dubai [where he has a house] on January 12 and I probably won't hit a shot until I'm back out here, and then it's on to Abu Dhabi."

This year McIlroy won his first major, the US Open, climbed to No 2 in the world and finished second in the Race to Dubai.

"I have made great progress this year with my game," he said.

"I feel as if I'm swinging my club as good as I ever have, and there are a lot of positives looking ahead to next year."