Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy's lucky charm...Caroline Wozniacki

A few months ago critics said she was a distraction... now McIlroy credits Caroline as secret to his glorious year

By Clare McNeilly

She was once seen as a distraction to his game, but now golf sensation Rory McIlroy’s star girlfriend is his lucky charm.

Just a few months ago, Caroline Wozniacki was being blamed for having a detrimental effect on the world’s number one golfer.

Indeed, after a slump in form, McIlroy was accused of being too taken with the Danish tennis player to reach the heights expected of a man of his sporting calibre.

But the Holywood 23-year-old has silenced naysayers by winning the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

He put his run of form down to having Wozniacki by his side through the tournament.

His victory — which saw him hit five birdies in the final five holes — meant he could add the Dubai World Championship to the Race To Dubai title he had claimed upon arrival in the Emirates.

And it capped a spectacular year for the Co Down star, who, after a slow start to 2012, lifted five titles, including the USPGA Major and played a key role in the success of the European team in the Ryder Cup — despite needing a police escort at one point!

He also finished top of the money lists in both the US and European Tours and signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike believed to be worth £160m.

Wee-Mac shared his feelings about his spectacular end to the season with followers on social networking site Twitter.

“What an unbelievable way to end an unbelievable year!!!” he wrote. “Couldn't be happier!! Thank you to everyone for their support throughout 2012! #boom”.

After his Dubai success, the USPGA winner told fans that the tennis champ is his lucky charm.

And he said he’d love to take her to every tournament with him because it makes him play well.

“I always win when she is with me,” he said after his sensational performance on Sunday when a round of 66 took him to 23 under, two clear of his closest rival, the Englishman Justin Rose.

Rory — who dubbed the couple Wozzilroy — added: “I’ll have to bring her to more tournaments.”

During a pre-tournament Press conference given by the golfing supremo a few days ago, however, the Danish beauty (22) had other things on her mind. The former world number one tennis player grabbed a microphone from a reporter and said: “If you win this week, am I going to get a really nice Christmas present?”

Red-faced Rory replied: “Haven’t you already got lots of nice presents? I have been looking. But it won’t take winning this week to buy you a nice present — I’ll get you one anyway.”

It was quite a week for two other top Ulster golfers.

Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell (33), from Portrush, got engaged to his US girlfriend Kristin Stape, while Dungannon’s Darren Clarke (44), a former Open champion, received an OBE for services to the sport.

Story so far

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki fell for each other at David Haye’s fight against Wladimir Klitschko in Germany on July 2, 2011. They publicly flirted on Twitter and started seeing each other on the final day of the 2011 Open. McIlroy dubbed them Wozzilroy and they are sport’s golden couple.

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