Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Rory McIlroy bats away questions over Caroline Wozniacki love split

Public appearance: Rory McIlroy faces the media in Seoul, South Korea ahead of his return to action in the Korea Open

Rory McIlroy insists he has learned lessons from a difficult year which has seen him fail to register a single victory.

However, the Holywood star refused to comment on rumours about his private life which claim he has split from tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

A poor run of form at the start of the season coincided with the confirmation of McIlroy's multi-million pound switch to Nike and so far the two-time major winner has only had one top-five finish in 2013 – a year after topping the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.

There have also been issues off the course as well – in addition to his relationship with Wozniacki he has changed management company with a Dublin court case to follow as a result.

The 24-year-old believes his disappointing form is golf-related, though, and he thinks it has all been part of a learning curve.

"I learned a lot this year," he said ahead of his appearance at this week's Korea Open.

"I was under-golfed for the first three to four months. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably have played more at the start of this year, just to play my way into the season a little better.

"This is the first year that I struggled as a pro. It's the first year I didn't live up to my expectations. Coming off the back of such a good year 2012, it's always tough to emulate that.

"This year is a little bit of a disappointment, but I've still got six tournaments left this year to finish the year strongly and get some momentum for 2014.

"I've had four weeks off and it's nice to get back into some tournament play.

"It'd be good to start this week with a good performance. Obviously, it'd be great to win."

McIlroy also denies his golf problems are a direct result of him changing equipment.

"Mechanically my golf swing... I fell into a couple of bad habits and I was trying to work myself out of it. It affects mental issues as well," he added.

"Golf is a game of confidence and if you are confident it allows you to play better and freer... with a free mind.

"It definitely had nothing to do with equipment. It had more to do with how I swing."

Asked about a reported split with his girlfriend McIlroy replied: "My private life is private and I would like to keep it that way."

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Ryder Cup-winning captain Bernard Gallacher plans to lead a campaign to make defibrillators widely available at golf courses after recovering from a heart attack.

The 64-year-old spent a week in intensive care and a further eight days recuperating in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after suffering a triple cardiac arrest in August while attending a corporate event.

Gallacher is already planning a return to the golf course but he will do so with an important message.

"The availability of a defibrillator was central in giving Bernard a chance of survival and along with his wife Lesley and the support of the PGA and European Tour, he will be championing a campaign to make defibrillators widely accessible at golf courses around the UK," said a statement from his management company.

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