Too soon to say if McIlroy will go public again

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 28, 2014 at 4:24 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014
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DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Rory McIlroy hasn't devoted too much thought yet to how he'll handle his next relationship after breaking up with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

Asked Wednesday at the Memorial Tournament if he intended to allow any subsequent romances to play out in public, McIlroy smiled sheepishly as he said, "I don't know. It's only been a week, so I'm not thinking that far ahead."

The answer broke up an uncomfortable moment for the Northern Ireland star, who declined to discuss the details of the end of his engagement.

McIlroy, ranked sixth in the world, revealed at a news conference last week that he and Wozniacki, ranked 13th in women's tennis, had separated. They had been planning their wedding.

The 25-year-old McIlroy was asked if he second-guessed himself for revealing the breakup at a news conference.

"It's one of those things that it was a very public relationship," he said. "And I thought it was best that instead of letting it linger and (feeding) rumors, just to have it right (out) there as soon as possible."

Wozniacki, the 2009 U.S. Open runner-up, lost in the first round at the French Open within a week of the breakup.

McIlroy won the European Tour event at Wentworth over the weekend. He hopes to use this week's Memorial Tournament as a springboard to the U.S. Open two weeks later at Pinehurst.

The couple had frequently posted pictures on social media of themselves together, traveling around the world while attending each other's tournaments.

Without mentioning the relationship in so many words, McIlroy said such situations help people grow up.

"There's been a few things that have happened in my life in the last couple of years that have been huge learning processes, whether it be splitting with a management company or new equipment or whatever else that it may be," he said. "Every time you have some sort of adversity like that you learn from it and you become more mature and you make better decisions the next time. And in that way I'm definitely learning and I'm maturing."

He added, "I'm pretty mature for a 25-year-old. If you were to get a few of my friends up here talking to you, they'd probably say the same thing."

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QUOTABLE: Host and tournament founder Jack Nicklaus, asked his best spot to sit and watch the action at Memorial Tournament: "My living room with a television set."

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LATEST HONOREE: Each year the Memorial Tournament recognizes a premier player or official who has made major contributions to the sport. This year's honoree is Annika Sorenstam, who won 87 times, including 72 LPGA Tour events and 10 major titles, in her 16-year professional career.

Sorenstam, who had a bronze plaque with her likeness and achievements posted in a garden at the tournament, said she was overwhelmed when she got the phone call from Nicklaus.

"My kids took a photo of the little plaque yesterday and it feels a little bit unreal to see me there and with them," she said of her inclusion with past honorees including Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Patty Berg, Mickey Wright, Gary Player, Nancy Lopez and Arnold Palmer. "I welcome it. It gets me fired up to do more work off the course, which I'm doing now as far as giving back to the game."

The Swede retired from competitive play in 2008 to marry Mike McGee — son of former PGA Tour player Jerry McGee — and raise children Ava and William. They spend part of their year in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Sorenstam has agreed to play in a celebrity golf tournament nearby, playing against men — just as she did when she played in the Colonial in 2003.

Nicklaus, who worked with Sorenstam on the golf course design for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, wasn't familiar with the celebrity event or who would play in it. But he knew who he'd pick to win.

"She can still play. Don't underestimate her," he said. "She'll be the best player there."

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RIGHT-LEANING: No left-hander has won in the Memorial Tournament's 38 years.

A couple of notable non-righties talk as if that's about to change.

"I don't have a good answer for you why no left-handed player has won here," said Phil Mickelson, who has withdrawn from the tournament as many times (2) as he's finished in the top five in 13 starts. "I guess we haven't had a great number of good left-handed players on our tour until recently. Now we've got some good ones. And I think it's just a matter of time."



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