Rory McIlroy said he is a better player than when he enjoyed major success, despite ending the year without a win after another disappointing showing at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
McIlroy finished his last scheduled event of the year at St. Andrews on Sunday with a level-par 72 to finish in a tie for 63rd position.
The world number six will now enjoy an extended winter break after his first winless season since 2008, but said he was confident 2018 would be a better year.
“I’m definitely a better player I feel than the player that won some of those tournaments and some of those majors,” McIlroy said.
“I feel like I’m a much better player now than I was in 2010 and 2012 when I was able to win a couple of majors.
“I see no reason why I can’t better that in the next 10 years and that’s why I feel like these three months are very important for me; to put some really good things in place and step away and just reassess everything and where I’m at and where I need to be.”
Commenting on his final 18 holes of a frustrating season, McIlroy said: “I think my last round of 2017 sort of summed up all of 2017.”
“It hasn’t been the year I wanted on the golf course.
“I started the year with grabbed ambitions trying to add to my major tally and trying to win golf tournaments and get back up near the top of the World Rankings. I obviously have not been able to do that.
“I feel like I can still salvage something from the rest of the year. Even though I’m not playing [how I want to], I’ve given myself a lot of opportunities to put a lot of good foundations in place going forward. That’s what I’m going to concentrate on from now until the end of the year.”