- The former world number one golfer confirmed relationship had ended
- Realised he was not ready for marriage just days after invitations were sent
- Couple were due to marry in New York on November 8, according to sources
- Northern Irishman blamed himself for the break-up with Danish tennis star
- In a statement he said: ‘I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves’
Golfer Rory McIlroy looked visibly upset at a press conference ahead of his latest tournament today after announcing he had broken off his five-month engagement to tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.
The major winner and former world number one, who according to sources was due to marry in New York in November, said the high-profile split was ‘mutual and amicable’ after confirming the relationship had ended because he realised he was not ready for marriage.
‘There is never a good time to end a relationship,’ he said, before taking to the Wentworth course in Surrey for the PGA Championship.
Golfer Rory McIlroy, 25, looked upset at a press conference this morning following the announcement he had broken off his engagement to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki
The major winner and former world number one said: ‘There is never a good time to end a relationship’
Golfer Rory McIlroy has broken off his engagement to tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, pictured together last week, just days after sending out wedding invitations
The pair looked deep in thought as they strolled hand-in-hand through Sloane Square in London last Thursday
In a brief statement, the golfer said he was making the announcement publicly after talking to Wozniacki. The pair were pictured talking in Sloane Square, London, last week (pictured)
The 25-year-old looked downbeat as he answered questions about the split, which was announced just hours before the tournament kicked off.
He said the decision to call off the engagement was both ‘mutual and amicable’ and said it would be difficult to concentrate on the tournament on the back of a public break-up.
‘I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be really difficult but when I get inside the ropes I’m going to have to try and concentrate on the matter in hand,’ he said.
‘I want to keep myself somewhat busy and have a good week on the course.
‘There is never a good time to end a relationship, I guess. I made a commitment to be here and I thought my duty was to play in this event.
‘Obviously (it’s) quite a difficult time for Caroline and myself. It was mutual and amicable and we both thought it was the best for us, the best for both of us.
‘Time to move on and I think I’ve said all that I need to say.’
After announcing the split, McIlroy took to the golf course in Wentworth, Surrey, for the BMW PGA Pro-Am Championship
McIlroy, pictured at the BMW PGA Pro-Am Championship today, said the split was ‘mutual and amicable’
McIlroy, pictured with his father Gerry before the start of today’s tournament, said he wanted to get his head into golf but admitted it would be difficult on the back of a very public break-up
McIlroy, pictured above with his father Gerry ahead of the BMW PGA-Am Championship at Wentworth, Surrey today, is fourth favourite to win the tournament
McIlroy, 25, looked visibly upset today after confirming the engagement was off because he realised he wasn’t ready for marriage
Last year, McIlroy was warned by Britain’s greatest-ever golfer Nick Faldo to ‘concentrate on golf’ after a dramatic slump in form, but McIlroy confirmed he had called off the relationship because he wasn’t ready to get married
Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, 23, (left) and golfer Rory McIlroy, 25, (right) were together for over two years
Sources close to the high-profile couple said the golfer broke it off with Wozniacki in April last year – days after she posted this picture on Twitter showing him asleep and open-mouthed with his glasses on
The pair, who got engaged on New Year’s Day after more than two years together, split just days after sending out their wedding invitations.
According to sources the wedding was due to take place at the Rockerfeller Centre in New York on November 8.
In a brief statement issued this morning through his Dublin-based communications consultants, McIlroy said he was making the announcement publicly after talking to Wozniacki.
‘The problem is mine,’ he said.
‘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.’
Despite being downbeat, he was rather candid when taking questions ahead of the tournament, where he is fourth favourite to lift the title on a course that does not suit him.
He chanced a rueful but wide smile when asked about spending the weekend on a course that he ‘loves’.
‘Look, I think I’m no different than anyone else. Everyone has been through break-ups and it’s obviously very, very difficult,’ he said.
‘But look, I’m here to try and concentrate on this week and answer questions about golf and that’s what I’m going to do.’
The pair were spotted sitting outside a restaurant in Sloane Square, London, last Thursday
Seemingly all was well with the pair, although last month when quizzed about a date for their big day, they said they were ‘working on it’
McIlroy, 25, who is worth an estimated £28million, proposed to the 23-year-old tennis star in Sydney, Australia, on New Year’s Day
The pair confirmed they were engaged on New Year’s Day by posting a series of pictures on Twitter featuring the diamond sparkler
McIlroy, who is worth an estimated £28million, proposed to the 23-year-old tennis star in Sydney, Australia, on New Year’s Day with a stunning £120,000 diamond ring.
The pair had been together for more than two years.
At the time, the Danish former world No.1, who is worth an estimated £15m, confirmed the news on her Twitter account.
She posted a picture of the engagement ring captioned with: ‘Happy new year everyone! Rory and I started 2014 with a bang! …I said YES!!!!’
He then shared the same picture and added: ‘Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year!! My first victory of 2014 #shesaidyes!!’
Following the engagement, the pair denied reports they had set a date to tie the knot in August.
In 2013, McIlroy was warned by Britain’s greatest-ever golfer Nick Faldo to ‘concentrate on golf’ after a dramatic slump in form
The pair were seen chatting in central London on Thursday just days before announcing they were to call of their engagement
Both had serious faces after their lunch date, when they were spotted walking hand-in-hand in Sloane Square
As recently as Sunday, McIlroy’s Twitter feed suggested there were no signs of trouble in the relationship after he posted a picture from Nobu restaurant in Monte Carlo where the pair had dinner
The pair have experienced an on/off relationship during their time together.
Sources close to the high-profile couple claimed the Irish golfer broke it off with Wozniacki in April last year – days after she posted a picture on Twitter showing him asleep and open-mouthed with his glasses on.
Friends at the time said there was no way back and the tennis ace was described as being ‘absolutely devastated’.
But she was then spotted among the gallery watching McIlroy at the Dubai World Championships in November. It was the first time the Danish tennis star had been seen at a golf event since she donned caddies’ overalls for the par three tournament at the Masters back in April.
Earlier in 2013, McIlroy was warned by Britain’s greatest-ever golfer Nick Faldo to ‘concentrate on golf’ after a dramatic slump in form.
Last December the pair were forced to deny rumours they were engaged after Wozniacki was spotted wearing a huge diamond ring on her wedding ring finger.
Speculation first began when the tennis star was seen flashing the diamond and sapphire jewel as she arrived at Brisbane International Airport.
However, it’s also tradition for Danish women to wear their engagement and wedding rings on the right hands.
They eventually confirmed their engagement on New Year’s Day after McIlroy, who won the U.S. Open in 2011 and the U.S. PGA Championship in 2012, proposed during a fireworks show on New Year’s Eve in Sydney.
The pair have experienced an on/off relationship during their time together but had been dating for around two years when they confirmed their engagement on New Year’s Day
Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki have called off their engagement after more than two years together
Following the engagement, Wozniacki sported a large diamond ring, said to be worth about £120,000, and all was seemingly well.
In an interview last month with Danish magazine, Lime, she even told how she dreamed of becoming a young mother.
She said: ‘I want to be a relatively young mother, and I do not see it as being too far in the future. I have always been like that. I would want to bring up my children.
‘Therefore, I have no dream to make my mark. Instead, I enjoy economic freedom my hard work has given me. It means that I can give my children the best start in life.’
However, shortly afterwards, her agent John Tobias insisted that the tennis player was firmly focused on the sport.
He said: ‘Caroline’s previous comments stand – but she is 100 per cent focused on tennis at the moment and hoping to do well in Madrid this week.’
The first potential sign of trouble in the relationship came shortly afterwards though when the pair said they were ‘working on it’ after being quizzed about a date for their big day.
However, as recently as Sunday, McIlroy’s Twitter feed showed no sign of the engagement being called off when he posted a picture from Nobu restaurant in Monte Carlo where the pair had dinner.
The wedding was expected to take place in New York on November 8 and was set to be one of the celebrity engagements of the year with no expenses spared.
Friends of the golfer, including former US President Bill Clinton, are among those who were thought to have received invitations sent via an American wedding planner.
MciIroy and Wozniacki, pictured sharing a buggy at the Singapore open in 2012, have split despite sending out wedding invitations over the weekend
In a statement, McIlroy, pictured with Wozniacki in 2012, said: ‘The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails’
Following the announcement of the split, a member at McIlroy’s home club, Holywood Golf Club in the hills overlooking Belfast, said people’s thoughts would be with the now-estranged couple.
Derek Reade, a former club president, said: ‘It is obviously a very disappointing event. Any sort of break-up of this kind is very disturbing.’
Mr Reade recalled whisperings about the couple’s relationship in the past when reports circulated in the media last year that they had broken up.
‘You have to wonder about some of these things. The only thing people here heard about was the last time they were supposed to have broken up,’ he said.
Wozniacki, who was born in Denmark to Polish parents, reached world number one in her own sport in 2012 but has yet to win a Grand Slam.
The tennis ace now sits at number 14 in the world rankings with the French Open at Roland Garros coming up next week.
McIlroy suffered a difficult golfing season last year and said he had considered seeing a sports psychologist to help overcome his issues.
At the time, he said: ‘I’m just playing thoughtless, brain-dead golf and I feel like I have been playing like that for the last couple of months.’
The pair looked happy and loved-up during the par-three competition at The Masters last year
Wozniacki with McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November last year
Wozniacki celebrated with the golfer when he won the DP World Tour golf Championship in Dubai on November 25, 2012
‘It has nothing to do with technique, it is all mental. Sometimes I feel like I am walking around out there and I am unconscious.
‘I’m trying to focus and trying to concentrate, but I really can’t fathom it at the minute. It is a very alien feeling, something I’ve never felt before.’
In the past, when he has been asked about seeing a sports psychologist, he has always batted the question away but on the most recent occasion he said: ‘I have worked with Bob (Rotella, the most noted name in this field), who has worked with Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke before, and it could be beneficial to see someone like that again.’
McIlroy is currently involved in a lengthy legal battle with his former management company in the courts in Dublin over commissions from his lucrative sports sponsorship and endorsement contracts.
The golf star, who has a £12m a year contract with Nike, claims he has paid more than £4m based on unreasonable fee rates much higher than the norm in the sports agency industry.