Just days after sending out invitations to their planned wedding,
the 25-year-old Northern Irishman said he was not ready for
"There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so
important to two people," the twice major winner said in a statement
on the eve of the European Tour's flagship event at Wentworth.
"The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend
made me realise 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."
The couple, known as 'Wozilroy' to fans, announced their engagement
on Twitter in January when McIlroy proposed following a New Year's
Eve fireworks show in Sydney.
World number 10 McIlroy, looking clearly distraught, told a news
conference later on Wednesday that he never had any thoughts of
withdrawing from the 60th anniversary edition of the Wentworth
"I'm not going to lie," he said. "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.
"I made a commitment to be here and I thought my duty was to play in
this event," added McIlroy who had been in a relationship with
Denmark's 23-year-old former world number one Wozniacki for 2-1/2
"Obviously it's quite a difficult time for Caroline and myself and I
think the statement really said it all this morning. It was mutual
and we both thought it was the best for both of us.
"It's time to move on and I think I've said all I need to say. I
just want to get my head into golf this week and concentrate on the
tournament and try and do well.
"I've been playing well and the form's been good. I want to dive
straight into it and keep myself somewhat busy and just try and have
a good week on the course."
One reporter tried to lighten the mood at the news conference by
suggesting McIlroy was at least returning "to a golf course that you
Laughter broke out around the room and the Northern Irishman
produced a brief smile before pulling down his cap and covering his
face with his hands.
Media reports seven months ago suggested the pair had ended their
relationship but neither party confirmed the break-up.
[to top of second column]
Last year was a troubled one all round for McIlroy who suffered a
slump in form after ending his equipment contract with Titleist.
He started 2013 as number one in the world rankings and in January
signed a 10-year contract with Nike that, according to media
reports, is worth $250 million.
McIlroy was also involved in a lengthy legal dispute last year after
splitting from his management team and was embroiled in a
disagreement with American sportswear company Oakley.
The Northern Irishman, winner of the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 U.S.
PGA Championship, has missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship in
three of the last six years and is looking to improve that record
"This is a beautiful golf course and I've got great memories of the
place from watching the World Match Play here in the early 2000s as
a kid," he said.
"I'm trying to go in this week with the mindset of not getting
frustrated and not to be frustrated that I might only get to hit my
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 try and accept that you've got to plot your way
around this course and not be overly aggressive ... just sort of
rein it in a little bit," added McIlroy.
"It's a great event. This tournament deserves the best players and
the best field and it gets that. Hopefully I can put in a
performance that's a little better than it has been the last few
(Additional reporting by Michael Hann, editing by Patrick Johnston
and Ken Ferris)
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