Rory McIlroy says the split from his tennis-playing fiancée Caroline Wozniacki was “mutual and amicable”.
The former world No 1 golfer fought back tears today as he faced reporters after breaking off his engagement with the Danish star only days after sending out the wedding invitations.
Rory announced the split on Wednesday in a statement. “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. I will not be saying anything more about our relationship in any setting.”
Only a couple of hours later, however, the 25-year-old had to front up for a press conference ahead of the BMW PGA in Wentworth, the European Tour’s flagship event which starts on Thursday. McIlroy said it was his “duty” to play despite the turmoil in his private life.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be very difficult,” he said.
“I just want to concentrate on this tournament and try and do well. I want to drive straight into it and keep myself busy.”
Of the split, McIlroy said: “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.”
He went on: “I’m no different to anyone else. Everyone has been through break-ups and it’s obviously very, very difficult. I didn’t think there was any reason to pull out. There is no good time to end a relationship.”
McIlroy, who hit a record score of 16 under par en route to victory at the 2011 US Open and took the PGA Championship the following year, proposed to Wozniacki — his girlfriend of two and a half years — in Sydney on New Year’s Eve and announced the engagement on Twitter.
There were reports last October that a “devastated” McIlroy had broken up with Wozniacki, 23, after she posted an unflattering picture of him on Twitter showing him fast asleep and open-mouthed.
Asked about the reports, Wozniacki said: “It’s definitely annoying. It’s obviously stupid, I don’t know exactly who started these rumours.”
As recently as Sunday, McIlroy’s Twitter feed suggested there were no signs of trouble in the relationship after he posted a picture from the Nobu restaurant in Monte Carlo where the pair had dinner.