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PGA Golf

Rory McIlroy reportedly dumped Caroline Wozniacki to save his golf game


Rory McIlroy dropped a bomb on the sports world earlier this week when he announced that he had ended his nearly three-year relationship with Caroline Wozniacki, mere days after sending out invitations to their wedding.

“The problem is mine,” McIlroy said from the BMW PGA Championship, one of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour. “The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.”

The couple announced their engagement on New Year’s Eve, but since then, McIlroy must have done a lot of soul-searching and ultimately the trepidation turned into a full-blown case of cold feet once he saw all those wedding invites getting popped in the mail.

Multiple sources are now indicating that the primary reason behind the split was that McIlroy felt that his coupling with Wozniacki was hurting his career on the course, and that he had to put the kibosh on the impending nuptials and the relationship as well.

Rory’s game hasn’t been as consistently good in the time he’s been with Caroline,” a source told Page Six. “He was a young guy in love and was flying around the world to see her play in tournaments or meet up with her. He was missing practice rounds. It was a distraction.”

“When you have two players focused on being No. 1, it’s a huge commitment to see each other, physically and emotionally,” the source added. “As tough as the decision to end the relationship might have been, it is wise to do it now rather than after they were married.”

The same source contends that the relationship simply was another nagging aspect of his personal life that took his focus away from the golf course, along with a contentious lawsuit McIlroy is embroiled in with his former management team.

The statistics appear to confirm the belief that his relationship with Wozniacki was adversely affecting his golf game. In the summer of 2011, just before the two started dating, he was coming off a dominant win at the U.S. Open at Congressional. He also rose to second in the world golf rankings, the highest spot thus far in his career.

McIlroy’s play and success was sporadic following his win at Congressional. He did win the 2012 PGA Championship by a record eight strokes. He also rose to number one in the world golf rankings a handful of times, losing it due to sub-par play but rebounding again, but his game nevertheless was remarkably inconsistent.

His 2013 campaign got off to an inauspicious start as Rory struggled. A bizarre withdrawal from the Honda Classic, along with reported struggles adjusting to his new Nike equipment, seemed to indicate that McIlroy, despite his immeasurable talent, was a complete mess on the course.

The up-and-down nature continued throughout the 2013 season and thus far this season, Rory continues to not appear to be himself.

“He is one of the most talented golfers out there, but his game was erratic,” a source said of Rory’s play at the Players Championship earlier this month.

It seems ending the relationship, despite the turmoil it is surely causing in his personal life, may be having a positive effect on his game. Wrapping up his second round at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday, Rory is 5-under and tied for fifth.

Young love, even though it can burn white-hot, can apparently be snuffed out pretty quickly. At least for Rory. Perhaps. Maybe. We shall see.