European Tour

McIlroy admits to distractions

2013-11-12 21:30
Rory McIlroy (AFP)

Dubai - Legal problems were a distraction which affected his golf this year, former world number one Rory McIlroy said on Tuesday as he prepared to defend the World Tour Championship title he won in sizzling style last year.

The 24-year-old from Northern Ireland birdied the final five holes in Dubai 12 months ago to claim his second tour title of the year and finish top of both the European and U.S. money lists.

In a barren 2013, however, he has tumbled to sixth in the world rankings.

That slump followed McIlroy's sponsorship switch to Nike in January, which prompted a former sponsor, American sportswear company Oakley, to launch legal action against him.

In September he terminated his contract with Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management to form his own management company and the acrimonious split has now reached the courts.

"It's something that I don't really think any athlete or anyone should ever go through," McIlroy told reporters.

"I've seen more lawyers' offices and more lawyers this year than I care to see in my entire life. It's not something I ever want to go through again and I'm making sure that I won't ever go through it again."

The twice major winner said his legal worries did not directly result in him hitting specific bad shots.

"But as a golfer you want your mind as clear as possible, and it's obviously hard for that to happen if you've got other things that are going on that, firstly, you don't want to happen, and secondly you don't feel should be happening. It's been a distraction," McIlroy said.

He is ranked a lowly 46th in the Race to Dubai - the European Order of Merit - and has no chance of topping the money list for a second year, but the 2011 US Open and 2012 US PGA champion was upbeat about his prospects of claiming a first tour title of 2013 at the $8 million Dubai event.

"If I can drive the ball well and drive it long and straight, it gives me a huge advantage over most of the field and it's something that when I'm on my game, I can really take advantage of, and I was able to do that last year," added McIlroy.

"This is a perfect golf course for that. If you can carry it over 300 yards, you've got a huge advantage on some of the guys here, and it's something I'll be trying to do this week."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Who will win the 2016 edition of the Ryder Cup?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.