Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy had no hesitation in playing The European Tour’s flagship BMW PGA Championship despite breaking off his engagement to Caroline Wozniacki earlier in the week.

McIlroy announced on Wednesday morning that his relationship with former World Number One tennis player Wozniacki was over because he was not ready for marriage.

"There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people," McIlroy said in a statement. "I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we've had."

Asked if he had been tempted to withdraw from an event in which he has missed the cut in each of the last two years, McIlroy said: "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.

"I made a commitment to be here. It's the European Tour's flagship event. 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.

"I think I'm no different than anyone else. Everyone has been through break ups and it's obviously very, very difficult. 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."

At his scheduled pre-tournament press conference at Wentworth, the 25 year old two-time Major winner added: "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. The form's been good. Just want to dive straight into it and keep myself somewhat busy and just try and have a good week on the course.

"I'm not going to lie. It's going to be very difficult. But you know, at least when I get inside the ropes, (I can) just try and concentrate on the shot at hand."

The first question on golf at least provided some light relief, with McIlroy laughing after a tongue-in-cheek question about at "least being at a golf course you love."

"I've enjoyed my times here," he added. "I think it's a beautiful golf course. I've got great memories of the place from coming and watching the World Match Play in the early 2000s as a kid. I've struggled on the course personally since they made the changes.

"I'm trying to go in this week with the mindset of not getting frustrated, just trying to play to my spots and not be frustrated 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 try and accept that you've got to plot your way around this golf course and not be overly aggressive. Hopefully I can put in a performance that's a little better than it has been the last few years.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MCILROY, RoryNIR18-14
2LOWRY, ShaneIRL18-13
T3BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-12
T3DONALD, LukeENG18-12
T5GALLACHER, StephenSCO18-9
T5DYSON, SimonENG18-9

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