Thursday, May 23, 2024

Rory McIlroy files for divorce from wife Erica as marriage ‘irretrievably broken’

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At the time McIlroy was in a relationship with former tennis world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, although the Northern Irishman broke up with the Dane two years later, after the invites for their wedding had been sent.

The timing of Tuesday’s bombshell – first reported by US website TMZ – will inevitably remind many of the Wozniacki drama that came to light during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Remarkably, after a teary press conference, McIlroy went on to win that week and followed it up with the best summer of his career when landing both the Open and US PGA.

The latter – the most recent of his four major successes – came at this Valhalla layout. He has suffered a number of close calls since but is coming into this event with renewed confidence after wins at his last two tournaments, including his five-shot win at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte on Sunday where he spoke about his ability to shut things out during competition.

“I think getting inside the ropes for that four or five hours or whatever it is a day, it’s a nice escape from everything else that’s going on in the world of golf,” McIlroy said.

“I don’t mind it; I’ve always been able to compartmentalise pretty well. I seem to for whatever reason play very good golf whenever I have a lot of stuff going on. I don’t know if I need that just to, when I get on the course, really focus on what I’m doing out there, but it seems to work.”

McIlroy was essentially talking about the ongoing LIV saga. From being the most outspoken critic of the Saudi-funded circuit he has, over the last six months, become vociferous in his belief that the PGA Tour must do a deal with the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund to unify the sport.

Last week, he revealed that his attempt to rejoin the Tour’s policy board – that will ultimately decide if a deal goes through – was blocked because of “a subset of people on the board that were maybe uncomfortable with me coming back on for some reason”. This is believed to include his friend Tiger Woods, who along with fellow player directors Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth, are more hesitant when it comes to joining forces with PIF.

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