Rory McIlroy says Atlanta win won't mask disappointing 2015

Rory McIlroy is about to catch a ball during his practice round in Atlanta on Wednesday
Rory McIlroy during practice in Atlanta on Wednesday

Rory McIlroy will look back on 2015 as a "disappointing year" even if he does win The Tour Championship this week and also lands the play-offs title.

McIlroy, deposed as world number one by Jason Day, is ninth in the FedEx Cup rankings and a win in Atlanta could see him clinching a £6.56m bonus.

But the 26-year-old says an overall play-offs triumph would not make up for his failure to win another major.

"2015 won't be a year that I look back on at the end of my career," he said.

Four-time major winner McIlroy will land the huge £6.56m sum if victory in Atlanta is enough to earn him the play-offs title but the former world number one said even that would not "excite me".

"Luckily, that amount of money doesn't sort of mean much to me anymore.

"The FedEx Cup is one of the only things that I haven't put on my golf CV and that would be more exciting to do that rather than walk away with a cheque."

McIlroy's broken ankle woe

After finishing a distant fourth behind winner Jordan Spieth at the Masters and then sharing ninth spot five adrift of the American at the US Open, McIlroy missed the The Open Championship at St Andrews after suffering a broken ankle while playing football with friends.

McIlroy didn't play again until the season's final major, the PGA Championship, in the middle of August when he finished 17th - 11 shots behind winner Day.

"It hasn't been the season I hoped for," added McIlroy on Wednesday.

"Going without a Major, missing arguably the biggest tournament we have - The Open championship at St Andrews, it only comes around every five years - having to sit that one out."

McIlroy did win both the WGC Match Play event and the Wells Fargo Championship in a three-week period in May but the Northern Irishman will still view 2015 as a "difficult year".

Jordan Spieth during his practice round in Atlanta on Wednesday
Rory McIlroy says Jordan Spieth deserves to be named player of the year after his two major wins

Spieth and Day have both taken the world number one spot from McIlroy in recent months.

McIlroy believes Australian Day is the best player in the world on current form and deserves his world number one berth but the four-time major winner says Spieth has been the player of 2015 by virtue of his Masters and US Open wins.

"Two Majors trumps all else," McIlroy said.

"There's obviously a ballot at the end of the year and I know who I'd be voting for.

"That's no disrespect to Jason at all. He's done great, he's been the best player for the last three months.

"But I feel like you've got to go on majors and Jordan has been the best player in those tournaments this year."

Any of the 29 players in the field in Atlanta - Jim Furyk has withdrawn with a wrist injury - can win the £6.56m bonus for lifting the overall FedEx Cup title, but only the top five are assured of doing so by winning at East Lake.

Spieth heads into this week leading the play-offs rankings from Day.