Belfast Telegraph

Model Nadia lifts the lid (slightly) on her brief relationship with Rory McIlroy

By Joanne Fleming

An Irish model recently linked to World No.1 golfer Rory McIlroy has alluded to a brief romance with the "perfect gentleman".

Nadia Forde (25), who had always insisted they were "just good friends", said she had no idea how big the McIlroy 'brand' was until she met him through friends.

"Rory is the perfect gentleman," she said.

"One thing that stands out in my mind is how he used to tell the driver to see me home and to make sure I got in the door safely.

"Little things like that.

"He is very different to how he is portrayed in the press."

The two were first introduced by mutual friends in a Dublin bar last year.

At the time, McIlroy was still engaged to Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.

Her time with the Co Down man was fleeting but they have remained friends, despite the abrupt manner in which she found out about his new dalliance with model and receptionist Sasha Gale.

The news was shouted at her by photographers as she made her way through the arrival gates at Dublin airport in July.

She later said he had nothing to apologise for as they were just friends.

"I had no idea how huge 'the brand' was until I got a glimpse inside it," she said.

"It must be difficult to be lost amongst that.

"But, at the end of the day, he is just a normal, good guy underneath all of that.

"Very down-to-earth."

Admitting she had never watched the Open winner in action, she said: "Honestly? No. I'm not really a golfing fan."

She also revealed that on the day Rory lifted the Claret Jug, and all eyes were on the young Holywood man as he won his third major by the age of 25, she was in Disney World.

Yesterday, Wozniacki thrilled her fans by knocking sixth seed Maria Sharapova out of the US Open.

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