RORY McIlroy is hoping to use this week’s BMW PGA Championship to take his mind off ending his engagement with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.
The two-times major winner made the announcement this morning just days after sending out wedding invitations, saying that he realised he was not ready for marriage.
“There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people,” said McIlroy in statement. “The problem is mine.
“The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.
“I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had. I will not be saying anything more about our relationship in any setting.”
The couple announced their engagement on New Year’s Eve. At the time, McIlroy tweeted: “I have a feeling it is going to be a great year.”
The Northern Irishman was ashen-faced when he appeared at a scheduled press conference at Wentworth at 11.30am for the European Tour’s flagship event but, to his credit, did speak about the split.
“Obviously it is quite a difficult time for Caroline and myself,” he said. “It was mutual and amicable and we both thought it was the best for us, the best for both of us. It’s time to move on
“I just want to get my head into golf this week and concentrate on the tournament and try and do well. I just want to dive straight into it and keep myself somewhat busy and just try and have a good week on the course.”
Asked how difficult it would be to concentrate on his golf in the circumstances, McIlroy added: “I’m not going to lie. It’s going to be very difficult. But at least when I get inside the ropes I can just try and concentrate on the shot at hand.”
The 25-year-old insisted he hadn’t contemplated pulling out of the event, saying there was no way he’d have gone back on his word to support the £3.9 million tournament.
“No, I didn’t think there was any reason to do that. There’s no good time to sort of end a relationship I guess,” he admitted. “But I made a commitment to be here. It’s the your European Tour’s flagship event and I’m very proud to be part of The European Tour.
“The European Tour have been very good to me over the last number of years and I thought it was my duty to come back and play in this event. “Once I gave my word that I would, I wasn’t going to go back on it.”
He also claimed the split was unlikely to have any affect on his schedule, which includes an appearance in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen in July. “I don’t think that’s going to change,” he remarked.
McIlroy, who was speaking before heading out with former Manchester United players Teddy Sheringham, Peter Schmeichel and Philip Neville in the pro-am, managed a smile when he was reminded he’s at a venue this week that isn’t exactly one of his favourites.
“At least you’re at a golf course that you love,” it was pointed out to him. “Yeah, look, I’ve enjoyed my times here,” he replied. “I think it’s a beautiful golf course and I’ve got great memories of the place from coming back and watching rhe World Match Play in the early 2000s as a kid.
“I’ve struggled on the course personally since they made the changes and I’m trying to go in this week with the mindset of not getting frustrated.
“I can’t get frustrated by the fact that I might only get to hit driver two or three times a round and feel like my advantage of my length is taken away from me.
“I’m just going to have to try and accept that you’ve got to plot your way around this golf course and not be overly aggressive.”