McIlroy case deferred

2015-02-03 15:08
Rory McIlroy in agony after a missed putt

Dublin - World number one Rory's McIlroy's multi-million pounds legal challenge against his former management company was deferred until later Tuesday after proceedings opened at the Irish High Court in Dublin.

The Northern Irishman, who won the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday, is both suing Conor Ridge's Horizon Sports Management company and being counter-sued over the terms of an agreement he struck with the firm in 2011.

After proceedings opened, Paul Gallagher, McIlroy's lawyer, said legal teams were prepared to hold talks on some aspects of the dispute.

"This is a case, as you know, scheduled to last for eight weeks," he told the judge.

"There are many issues in the case and we are seeing if we can narrow the issues."

The case was due to resume at 16:00 (SA time) on Tuesday.

The deal, which was renegotiated in 2013, was to last until 2017, with Horizon receiving commission on the golfer's financial dealings.

McIlroy, 25, has taken action over over £4.2million in fees to Horizon from his earnings on and off the course.

Horizon, meanwhile have argued they have a contract with McIlroy entitling them to a share of his endorsement earnings until 2017.

McIlroy terminated his contract with Horizon in September 2013, forming his own company to manage his affairs, Rory McIlroy Inc.

He argued the terms of his deal were vastly inferior to those signed by other golfers at Horizon, including fellow countryman and major winner Graeme McDowell.

He claims Horizon charged almost four times what top ten golfers pay to agents.

McIlroy was with Horizon when he signed a sponsorship deal with equipment manufacturers Nike in early 2013, said to be worth $100 million over five years, and also signed other high-worth deals.

On the course, he won the 2011 US Open and the 2012 PGA Championship and became world number one for the first time in his career.

Four-time major winner McIlroy did not talk to reporters as he arrived at court dressed in a a dark navy suit and wearing glasses.

But before his success at the Dubai Desert Classic, McIlroy said the legal dispute was not something he would "want anyone to go through".

"It's not a nice process. It's a shame it's went this far but it's hard when two sides see things completely differently," he said.

"The only way to sort it out is to get a judge to come in and tell us what to do."

McIlroy, who won the British Open and the US PGA titles last year, hopes the issue will be resolved before he attempts to complete a career grand slam at the Masters in April.

Were he to don the Green Jacket at Augusta National, McIlroy would become only the sixth golfer in history, and the first from the British Isles, to have won all four of the sport's major titles -- British Open, US Open, US Masters and US PGA -- along with the American quartet of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods and South Africa's Gary Player.

Read more on:    pga tour  |  european tour  |  rory mcilroy  |  golf

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