Champagne victory helps Rory McIlroy drown his sorrows
It's been a weird week of mixed emotions, Rory McIlroy said with classic understatement as the newly-single golfer lifted his first European Tour trophy in 18 months.
Just days after the Co Down man broke off his five-month engagement to Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, he has won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
The pair had both been world number ones when they met in 2011 – but their form dipped badly during their three-year courtship, with each receiving warnings from veteran sports legends to concentrate on their careers.
Now Rory appears to have bounced back quickly after the break-up.
The 25-year-old is the first golfer from Ireland to take the prestigious title in more than 50 years.
"I can't explain it," said a somewhat surprised McIlroy.
"It's obviously a week of mixed emotions. I am looking at the trophy saying 'How the hell did it happen?'
"I was asked in an interview how I feel and I don't know. I feel happy that I've won but it's been a weird week."
It's thought that Rory will be back home today to visit his mum before heading off for his next tournament.
Irish golfer Shane Lowry finished in second place, just one shot behind the Holywood man.
On Wednesday last week, Rory stunned fans when he publicly announced the end of his relationship with Caroline.
Despite having sent out wedding invitations to high-profile guests that were said to include former US president Bill Clinton, Rory said he had realised he was not ready for marriage.
Following the triumph at Wentworth, Rory goes into the upcoming US Open in top form.
"I'm very pleased," he said.
"I really wanted to win before going into the second major of the season and, yeah – I couldn't have asked for a better way to prepare."
Sky presenter Kirsty Gallacher alluded to Rory and Caroline's relationship ending by referencing his "difficult week" but then asked him how he reflected on his game over the past few days.
"I played well, I played solid," he said.
Shortly before Rory's very public break-up with Caroline, the tennis ace had spoken of her plans to retire soon to focus on motherhood.
All eyes are now on the 23-year-old as she prepares for the French Open.
On Friday, the multi-millionaire athlete appeared in public for the first time since the split to practise at Roland Garros.
It had been thought a knee injury would keep the number 13 seed away from the Paris tournament, but she felt comfortable enough to take to the court and will play Yanina Wickmayer in the first round.
Well-wishers and cynics alike tweet their views
“Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki break up. Rory wins the Euro PGA Championship. #careersaved”
“Astonishing victory from Rory McIlroy at Wentworth considering his break-up with Caroline Wozniacki during the week. A special performance.”
“Super performance @McIlroyRory should have dumped Caroline sooner!”
“Rory went from crying about Caroline five days ago to holding the trophy today. Well done mate. @McIlroyRory”
“@McIlroyRory is going to be so good without Caroline on his mind! #cantlivewiththem”
“Rory McIlroy wins in his first tourney since breaking up with Caroline Wozniacki... Anybody know a good divorce attorney?”
“So... Rory McIlroy wins the #BMWPGA the same week he dumps Caroline Wozniacki....oh. That's a dangerous precedent. #golf”
“Rory McIlroy breaks up with Caroline and wins the BMW Championship. Lol. Coincidence