Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett set for battle in the absence of Rory McIlroy

The Race To Dubai leaders will face off next week at the Turkish Airlines Open after McIlroy announced he would not be attending the tournament

Rory McIlroy

Image: Ng Han Guan AP/Press Association Images

Rory McIlroy says he is prepared to let Open champion Henrik Stenson and Masters champion Danny Willett battle it out next week at the Turkish Airlines Open.

The 28-year-old pulled out of the event due to security concerns, allowing Stenson and Willett to extend their lead at the top of the Race To Dubai leaderboard.

"I guess it's out of my hands," he said. "I took the decision not to go to Turkey next week. Those boys can battle it out and if I have somewhat of a chance heading into Dubai then that's great.

"If not, I think over the course of the season they've had big wins and played well. They're two majors champions, so I'm OK with that."

McIlroy finished tied for fourth at the WGC-HSBC Champions golf event in Shanghai, which was won by Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.

"It's been good, I think Hideki has played much superior golf to the rest of the field his week and he's a deserved champion that's for sure. 

"It's been a decent week. There's a couple of good scores mixed in there with some rounds that I'd like to take back. Overall, the week has been pretty good. It's not the win that I wanted but it looks like I finished top five. Not a bad week."

The Holywood golfer cited where he felt his challenge came undone during the tournament.

"Mid round on the third day and the fact that I didn't get off to the fastest of starts. Those two rounds were a little bit disappointing. I felt like I played pretty good golf and when I got it going I was able to make some birdies."

Matsuyama ran out a comfortable winner in the end, finishing seven strokes ahead of Stenson and McIlroy explained the tactics about playing against someone in such a commanding lead.

"Try and shoot the best score that you can and there's nothing really else that you can do. You can't control what anyone else does so I had to go out and shoot the best that I can. 

"There's always something to play for, even when you think you can't win the tournament. There's points up for grabs so that's what I was playing for."