November 18, 2014 / 6:23 PM / 3 years ago

Refreshed McIlroy ready to take advantage of jaded rivals

European Ryder Cup player Rory McIlroy celebrates as he wins 5&4 on the 14th green against U.S. Ryder Cup player Rickie Fowler during the 40th Ryder Cup singles matches at Gleneagles in Scotland September 28, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

DUBAI (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy believes a six-week break from golf to fight a legal case has put him in the ideal shape to end a stunning 2014 season by claiming yet another title at this week’s $8 million DP World Tour Championship.

The world number one was crowned the European Tour’s money-list winner without playing a shot last week after rivals Sergio Garcia, Jamie Donaldson and Marcel Siem failed to win the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open.

”I feel like I‘m probably a little fresher than most of the guys,“ McIlroy told reporters on Tuesday. ”I think there were a few jaded minds and bodies getting off that plane from Turkey the other night.

“Hopefully I can use that to my advantage and put in a good performance. It would be nice to pick up two trophies on Sunday and not just one -- I’m still very motivated to go out there and perform well.”

The 25-year-old Northern Irishman’s last outing was in early October as he downed clubs to focus on a long-standing legal battle with his former management team, Horizon Sports.

The two parties have failed to reach a settlement and the dispute is set to drag into 2015.

”I‘m annoyed it’s still going on,“ said McIlroy. ”I can’t do anything about it, we tried our best a few weeks ago to come to some sort of resolution and it didn’t work.

“I‘m better at compartmentalizing stuff that’s happening off the course and being able to focus on what’s going on on the course.”

McIlroy’s exploits this season have enabled him to become money-list winner for the second time in three years, bouncing back from a tough 2013 to triumph at the British Open, U.S. PGA Championship, BMW PGA Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.

“I always feel like I can get better, even if the improvements are not that noticeable,” said McIlroy whose Ohio win in August lifted him to the top of the world rankings after a 16-month hiatus.

“You might not be able to see them, they might not be obvious improvements, but there are always things that you can do to try and get better,” he added ahead of this week’s season-ending tournament that starts on Thursday.

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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