Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is to take a break on doctor’s orders after failing in his bid to end the year as Europe’s top golfer.

The world number two had to be content with a similar ranking behind England’s Luke Donald after the final event of the season.

Donald became the first man to win the US and European money lists after a third place finish behind Spain’s Alvaro Quiros in the Dubai World Championship on Sunday.

McIlroy, who needed to win to pip Donald and top the order of merit, slipped into 11th place as the affects of a mystery virus – which could be Dengue fever – took its toll.

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The US Open champion has now pulled out of an event in Thailand this week and is to stay in Dubai for a few days’ rest before flying home.

“I think this week was one too many,” said McIlroy who has no plans to play again until February when he will go head to head with Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi at the end of January.

“Luke deserves it. Basically every time he’s teed it up he’s had a chance or he’s finished in the top five or top 10. Mentally you have to be so good just to keep grinding out the scores when you need to.

“But I’ve made great progress this year - with my game, with my results, with everything. I feel like I’m swinging the club as good as I ever have and I feel like my body is as strong as it’s ever been.

“I’ve won my first major and my goals are just to win tournaments and try to become a multiple-major champion.”