Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki set for long engagement
Rory McIlroy may have started the new year by becoming engaged to his tennis star girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, however it is unlikely that the couple will make it up the aisle before the end of 2014.
The huge diamond ring was only on Wozniacki's left hand moments before speculation began to emerge about when she would become Mrs McIlroy.
A source close to the couple told the Irish Independent last night that McIlroy "has a very busy schedule for springtime", and that he was due back on the course in Abu Dhabi in mid-January, making a 2014 wedding seem unlikely.
His new fiancee is also expected to return to the tennis court from a shoulder injury in time to participate in the Australian Open in the next two weeks.
And the pair -- both in the top echelons of their sport -- won't have very much spare time with their schedule of tournaments throughout the year, from this summer's Wimbledon for Wozniacki to a likely appearance by McIlroy in the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland, in September.
The sporting couple, whose on/off relationship has attracted huge attention, announced their engagement on their Twitter accounts on Tuesday night, shortly after Rory went down on bended knee after the New Year's Eve fireworks in Sydney, Australia.
The 24-year-old posted that he just scooped his "first victory of 2014", accompanied by a photo of the impressive engagement ring. Fellow Northern Ireland golfer Graeme McDowell was among the first to offer congratulations to the couple, and said "congrats guys!", shortly after they announced the news that they are to tie the knot. The couple are known to their fans as 'Wozilroy'.
Paddy Power is now taking bets on all aspects of the wedding. Wozniacki's native Denmark is the favourite location for the ceremony with odds of 5/6, while her other half's native Ireland stands at 2/1. The couple began dating two years ago, shortly after Rory's high-profile break-up with his childhood sweetheart Holly Sweeney.
It was reported yesterday that Wozniacki's LA-based agent has "insisted" that the former world number one has no plans to retire. The 23-year-old yesterday described her engagement to the Co Down man as "a wonderful way to start the new year". She added: "It's great to be back in Sydney and now the city has even more special memories for me and Rory."
Paddy Power is also taking bets on the couple to become parents by the end of next year, and odds of 11/8 on the wedding taking place this year.