24 Aug 2017

Winless McIlroy to take a break

11:39 am on 24 August 2017

Former world number one Rory McIlroy is taking a three month break next yea from golf in an effort to turn around his form for 2018.

Rory McIlroy tees off on the 18th hole during the Day 1 morning matches for the 2016 Ryder Cup.

Rory McIlroy Photo: Photosport

The four-times major champion has not claimed a tour event this year and last claimed a major title in 2014.

Speaking on the eve of the first FedExCup playoff event on New York's Long Island, McIlroy described it as a rare chance to take an extended break.

The news will disappoint to the European Tour, which will stage its end-of-season Race to Dubai in November without the tour's biggest drawcard.

"I don't think I'm ever going to get a chance like this in my career again, where I get this opportunity to re-evaluate things, work on some stuff and just try and improve and get better."

"I feel it's a tremendous opportunity to improve as a golfer and with my health and everything. I'm excited to play these next few weeks but I've already sat down with my team and we have a three-month plan going forward.

McIlroy said he was getting tests and assessments in October and would focus on getting in the " best possible shape with my body and game going into 2018."

McIlroy has been hampered this season with a back injury and said the problem had been more of a hindrance than the 2015 ruptured left ankle ligament than prevented him from defending his British Open crown.

After this month's PGA Championship, he said he was thinking of skipping the entire PGA Tour four-event playoff series, but subsequently decided to defend his title, before ending his year at the European Tour's Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews.

"I will start to hit balls the end of November and then work on some technical stuff and when we get to January hit the ground running and hopefully have an injury free, stress free, very successful year."