For Rory McIlroy, yesterday’s round at the DP World Tour Championship marked his final competitive round of 2018.
The four-time major winner laboured to a one-over-par 73 in Dubai – his worst round of the week – to finish well down the 60-man field in a tie for 20th and ten shots behind winner Danny Willett.
In flying back to Florida from the Middle East, McIlroy shared some of his thoughts in a reflective Instagram post, believing that 2018 had delivered ‘lots of positives’ despite achieving just one victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in March.
“Just me and my thoughts.... can’t believe the 2018 season is over already,” he wrote.
“Lots of positives this year on and off the course and some areas that need improvement heading into 2019. Already working on a plan for that. So much to be grateful for and I can’t wait to spend the holiday season with family and friends.
“Thank you to everyone that continues to support me and my career. I will continue looking for ways to become a better golfer but more importantly a better person. #staycurious #stayfascinated”
Prior to his victory at Bay Hill, McIlroy had fallen to his lowest world ranking (No.13) since 2010.
Less than a month later and back inside the world top ten, he blew an excellent chance to win the Masters (and complete the career grand slam) after heading into the final round at Augusta National in the final group alongside eventual champion Patrick Reed.
That was just one of several near-misses the Northern Irishman endured throughout the course of 2018, with runner-up finishes coming at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, BMW PGA Championship and the Open.
Ahead of the DP World Tour Championship, McIlroy said he graded his season as a B-.
“Results-wise, it hasn’t been the year that I’d wanted, even though I played in six final groups and, in 2016 and 2017 combined, I played in three or four final groups.
That’s been a real, big positive but there’s a difference between getting into those final groups and finishing the job off, and that hasn’t been quite where I’ve wanted it to be."
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