A stellar season in the books, Rory McIlroy looks forward now to some rest and relaxation.
The Northern Irishman concluded his campaign on Sunday with a fourth-placed finish at the DP World Tour Championship, a day in which he began two shots off the summit but ended it seven off winner Jon Rahm.
A final-round 73 at Jumeirah Golf Estates was not what was expected, given McIlroy’s reputation and recent form. He finished fourth in the European Tour’s season finale, a tournament he has twice won before, and sixth overall in the Race to Dubai.
Saying that, with four victories already, the FedEx Cup crown and a climb to second in the world rankings, it remains a superb showing.
"You know, I'll look back at 2019 very fondly," McIlroy said following a round that included two birdies and three bogeys, two of which coming in the final four holes. "There's been a lot of good golf played. Probably some of my most consistent golf. Four wins; I guess this is the 19th top-10.
"It's been a learning year, as well. I learned some things that I want to take forward into next year. But first and foremost, I'm looking forward to a couple of months off and reflect on everything and get myself ready for next year."
The time off will be exactly that: clubs away, Christmas in Northern Ireland for the first time in a couple of years, seeing friends and family. Then back at it, for an assault on the world No 1 spot – Brooks Koepka is the current incumbent – and an attempt to add to his four majors. McIlroy, 30, has not won a “big one” since collecting two in 2014.
But first, that break. “I'd say I'll try not it touch my clubs for rest of the year,” he said. “I'll take a nice four- or five-week break from them and then in the New Year, I'll start getting ready again and playing in the last week in January."