He' been roaring to victory since breaking up with tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki. And now Ulster’s superstar golfer Rory McIlroy has publicly said breaking up with the Danish tennis player is behind his recent winning form.
The world number one, from Holywood, Co Down, split from his ex-fiancé just days after sending out their wedding invitations in May.
Now the multi-millionaire, 25, has revealed that the public break-up — which he feared would hurt his performance this year — was ‘for the best in terms of my golf.’
“Mentally, I am just in a far better place,” he told reporters at the 96th US PGA Championship in Kentucky this weekend.
“‘I’ve put a bit more time into it and it has refocused me.
“I mean, what else do I have to do now?
“I go to the golf course, to the gym and it’s just my life at the minute. I worked pretty hard
before but the past couple of months I’ve really just buried myself in my game.
“I’ve practiced hard and I’ve done all the right things and I’m reaping the rewards.”
His words will no doubt bring a smile to the face of Northern Ireland model Sasha Gale, the 23-year-old Lisburn beauty spotted with the sportsman just days after he won The Open last month.
As well as winning the coveted Claret Jug at Hoylake, he last weekend landed the prestigious WGC Bridgestone Invitational title and was pitch perfect as he won the US PGA Championship yesterday as his fourth Major title.
McIlroy’s opening rounds of 66 and 67 at Valhalla matched those of Tiger Woods on his way to victory in 2000, but 14 years on, the 14-time Major winner suffered more back trouble and just missed his fourth cut in 66 Majors as a professional.
McIlroy announced he was splitting with the Danish sports woman earlier this year.
He called off the engagement just hours before the start of a major tournament at Wentworth, claiming it was both ‘mutual and amicable’.
He later said in a statement: “The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.
“I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had.”
Gutted, Caroline tweeted at the time: “It’s a hard time for me right now. Thanks for all the sweet messages! Happy I support Liverpool right now because I know I’ll never walk alone.”
At the time, McIlroy feared the public break-up would impact on his performance.
But days later, McIlroy went on to win the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and he’s been on a roll ever since.
He added yesterday: “Golf is the number one priority to me and while I’m on this run of form I want to try and keep it going as long as possible.
“I’m going to keep working hard and try and get even better. Hopefully I can do that over the next few years and hopefully you’ll see golf like this more often from me.”
The pair got engaged on New Year’s Eve last year after Rory popped the question during a fireworks show in Sydney, Australia.
According to sources, their wedding was due to take place at the Rockefeller Centre in New York on November 8.
Since the break-up, Rory has also been linked to Dublin based model Nadia Forde, who claims the pair are just “good friends”.