Recent slump in form is all down to me, says McIlroy
Rory McIlroy has made his most forceful attempt yet to quell the negativity surrounding his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki.
The young Ulsterman is on record as saying that meeting, and subsequently falling in love with, Danish tennis star Wozniacki is the best thing that has ever happened to him — but many golf observers are not so sure about that, pointing out that the romance, which is now a year old, has coincided with Rory’s recent slump in form.
The Co Down man has missed four of the last six cuts, and Caroline’s own travails — she was the world number one women’s player when they met and is now eighth — haven’t gone un-noticed either.
The whispered, yet all too tangible taunts, are that the ‘Wozilroy’ pairing may be terrific fodder for celebrity magazines but has been destructive for the couple’s respective careers.
McIlroy is, however, having none of it.
The 23-year-old, who is busy preparing for this week’s Open Championship at Lytham, said: “I’m aware what’s been said, but it’s just about caring for yourself and thinking ‘am I content?’. I’ve always said if I’m happy, that’s when I play my best golf. And I did for a while.”
He added: “It (the relationship) is hard to imagine if you’re not in the position and, let’s be honest, there aren’t going to be many couples who are in Caroline’s and my position.
“But still, it’s the old thing of being able to separate your professional life from your personal life.”
“When you're at the golf you have to focus 100% on that. Sometimes I haven't done that.”
One full year into the relationship, McIlroy says Caroline — who celebrated her 22nd birthday last week — is fundamental to his well-being, both now and in the future.
“We were lucky to find each other... two people doing a similar thing,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“Yeah, fitting in time to see each other can be awkward, but we're always going to have these logistical problems.
“We've just got to deal with it, get around it and make the best of it.”
McIlroy, a diehard Manchester United fan, added: “The only thing is, she's a Liverpool supporter. Nobody can be perfect, I suppose.”