Rory McIlroy was forced to withdraw from this weeks Thailand Golf Championship on medical orders, has said he is happy with the progress he has achieved this year.

The Antrim man was diagnosed with dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness which has left him exhausted.

Speaking to the Irish Times he described his progress this season as “a massive step in the right direction . . . there’s a lot of positive things going into next year”.

The 22-year-old has won prizes amounting to $9.6 million (€7 million) during his latest successful season which has seen him jump from 10th place in the world rankings at the beginning of 2010 to his current position at number two.

“I’ve made great progress this year with my game, with my results, with everything. I feel like I am swinging the club as good as I ever have. I feel like my body is as strong as it’s ever been . . . my goals are just to win tournaments and to try and become a multiple-Major champion,” said McIlroy.

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His next competitive game is the Abu Dhabi Championship on January 26th-29th.

“I’m planning on coming back to Dubai on the 12th of January. I’ll see myself doing quite a bit of gym work between now and then, but I probably won’t hit a full shot until I get back (to Dubai).

“I’ll try and keep on top of my short game or my putting a little bit . . . but it will be mostly gym work to get my body stronger.”

He added: “When I sit down and reflect on it over Christmas, to win my first Major and to win a couple more tournaments and to play as well as I have in most of the tournaments I have entered, it’s been a great year. I’ve made great progress and hopefully I can go on to bigger and better things next year.”