DP World Tour Championship: Rory McIlroy looking forward to break after season he will look back on 'very fondly'

Northern Irishman finishes campaign with disappointing final round of 73 to finish fourth at Jumeirah Golf Estates

epa08021500 Rory Mcilroy of North Ireland tees off during the final round of DP World Tour Championship European Tour Golf tournament 2019, at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24 November 2019.  EPA/ALI HAIDER
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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."