The world No 1 Rory McIlroy is adamant he can turn his absence from the European Tour to his advantage with victory in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
McIlroy missed the first two events of the Final Series to prepare for his upcoming court case with a former management company, but he secured a second Race to Dubai title in three years on Sunday when none of his three nearest rivals were able to win the Turkish Airlines Open.
The 25-year-old could therefore be forgiven for having something of a relaxed attitude at Jumeirah Golf Estates this week, but he insisted that would not be the case after his short break from golf and said he was well rested.
“I’m very proud to have won the Race to Dubai again and not having to do anything this week is a bonus,” said McIlroy. “But at the same time it would be nice to pick up two trophies on Sunday, not just one. I want to play really well this week and try and win this tournament. I’m probably a little fresher than most of the guys. Hopefully, I can use that to my advantage.”
McIlroy believes he has kept his game in good enough shape to go in as favourite for a fifth victory of the season, ahead of defending champion Henrik Stenson. “I feel good and, hopefully, I’ve done enough work to be ready for Thursday,” McIlroy said.
The Ulsterman, who has won the Open and PGA Championship this year, also announced he had persuaded American Rickie Fowler to compete in the Irish Open next year.
“I was excited to get more involved with the Irish Open with it going to one of the best golf courses in the world at Royal County Down,” McIlroy said. “I might be a bit biased seeing as it is close to home. I’m glad Rickie has agreed to come over and play.”