Shanghai - World No 1 Rory McIlroy is taking time away from golf early
next year to better deal with the multi-million dollar legal dispute he
has with his former management company.
The Northern Irishman
took the decision after lawyers representing himself and the
Dublin-based Horizon company failed to reach an out-of-court agreement
settling a complex contractual dispute.
"I'm going to need time
away from tournament golf to prepare for the trial over my legal dispute
with Horizon Sports Management," said McIlroy via his new management
"The court-directed mediation process failed over the weekend to resolve the issue."
hearing is set to take place in February and McIlroy has already opted
to withdraw from two top tournaments in Shanghai at the end of this
month and early next - the BMW Masters and World Golf
Championships-HSBC Champions tournament.
McIlroy signed up with
Horizon in late 2011, only to begin proceedings against them almost a
year ago, alleging the contract to be "unconscionable" due to "excessive
Via a counter lawsuit, Horizon, instrumental in
McIlroy's lucrative five-year contract with Nike, are citing breach of
contract and loss of future commissions.
Calls for an out-of-court
settlement from Mr Justice Peter McGovern, who predominantly sits on
Ireland's Commercial Court, fell on deaf ears.
The concern now is
how the trial will affect 25-year-old McIlroy's preparations for the
Masters, the first of the year's four majors, which starts on April 9.
Ryder Cup star has won the last two majors - the British Open and the
USPGA and he would likely be the favourite at Augusta to make it three
in a row.
At present, McIlroy is scheduled to play in two events
in the Middle East in mid-to-late January, early February, along with
the Honda Classic in West Palm Beach from February 26.