Dengue fever could derail McIlroy quest

 

Dubai

Rory McIlroy's eventful season has taken yet another twist after medics informed him he may have contracted Dengue fever.

The 22-year-old will visit the doctor this evening following blood tests which showed the reason for the fatigue which could ruin his hopes of winning his first Order of Merit title.

After shooting a 71 in a second round which saw him bogey the final two holes, McIlroy revealed he had been told his "platelet count and my white blood cell count are low". This made his doctor suspect the tropical disease which is carried by mosquitoes and which McIlroy probably picked up in the Far East last month. The infection can be life-threatening.

"The doctor said it was a mild case, or it could have been food poisoning or been bacterial," said McIlroy. "Whatever it is, I don't have it any more; it's just the lasting effects. My immune system is down and my body is taking more time to recover than it usually would."

McIlroy is clearly desperate to put away his sticks and the good people of Thailand should resign themselves to be missing his superstar presence at their national championship next week. In the summer, McIlroy signed a deal to play in Bangkok for a sum believed to be in excess of £300,000 and since then the anticipation levels over there have been rising.

"To be honest I am ready for the season to be done," said the Ulsterman, who is on his 11th week away from Northern Ireland. So with two days left of the golfing year which changed his life the urgency is obvious. What will it take to stage the perfect finale and leave with the near £1m Race to Dubai jackpot? After yesterday, plenty.

After all, Luke Donald has a big hitter in his corner. Indeed, in Alvaro Quiros he not only has the Sonny Liston of golf, but a Spaniard who quite fancies delivering a knockout blow to young McIlroy's chance.

The Ulsterman needs to win to have any chance of overhauling Donald and, despite sharing the lead with four holes of his second round remaining, he signed off last night five off Quiros's pace. That had plenty to do with McIlroy's four-six finish and Quiros closing out three-three-three, with an eagle on the par-five 18th. The 64 equalled the course record, and its quality was further highlighted by the fact it was two shots better than any other round yesterday. Quiros is a slugger by rhythm and by nature.

"Rory and Luke are not the only two players in the tournament," said Quiros, looking for a Dubai double after winning the Desert Classic in February. "The rest of us are trying to spoil the party. This is good otherwise the competition would not be as stiff."

There may even be a touch of revenge in his gatecrashing. Last week in Hong Kong, Quiros entered the last round three clear of McIlroy – and ended up losing by five.

With Donald hurtling up to tied 12th with three finishing birdies to close, McIlroy's hopes do not seem as tantalising as they did after his first-round 66. "I have an uphill battle," he said after four birdies and three bogeys left him on seven-under, in a tie for third. "But it is still possible. I just have to bide my time."

In truth, he could produce heroics to peg back Quiros, the longest driver on the European Tour, and still concede the Harry Vardon Trophy to Donald. The manner in which the Englishman strode into the clubhouse suggested a champion who has worked out the route to victory. On Thursday night he contacted his long-time coach Pat Goss who had noticed on the coverage, the speed of his pupil's swing in a disappointing 72 which featured him taking unplayables on two consecutive holes.

"I was getting a little bit rushed, starting the swing with my legs too much and not being patient enough," said Donald. "It was still a struggle today ... but in terms of my mental approach for the next couple of days I think those birdies at the end were huge."

At last the putts consented to behave as they have all season for Donald. Two 15-footers and a 10-footer bolstered his confidence. "It was nice to find a little touch on the greens," said the 34-year-old. "That will be key this weekend. I would say there is nervous excitement. I'm looking forward to it, but it's going to be a tough challenge."

Donald is determined to ensure his own destiny. "It would be foolish of me to rely on Rory not winning," said the world No 1. "I know what's at stake. It's a big deal to me. I will use those nerves to my advantage."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum