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PGA Golf

Rory McIlroy on return to bachelor life: ‘I’m happy with everything that’s going on’


As Rory McIlroy prepares to compete for a third major title and first victory in the British Open this week at the links course of Royal Liverpool, his goings-on off the course continues to be a predominant point of conversation as he attempts to straighten out his game on the course and reclaim the dominant nature he once had that has proven to be so elusive.

McIlroy’s personal life has been a significant source of news as of late in the wake of his tumultuous breakup with longtime girlfriend and fiancée Caroline Wozniacki in May.

While reports indicated that he ended the relationship to save his golf game, the sordid details and allegations regarding the split that emerged in the aftermath proved to be too tempting to ignore, as rumors abounded that he dumped Wozniacki during a three-minute phone call. Add that to the timing of the breakup, a mere days after the couple sent out wedding invitations, and the story had all the trappings of compelling tabloid fodder.

As McIlroy attempts to right the ship, regain his bearings and reclaim his position as one of the two or three best golfers in the world — he currently sits at eighth in the World Golf Rankings — he is also trying to reacclimate himself to the single life of a bachelor, something he says is going as well as expected.

When asked this week if things in his personal life are good on Tuesday, McIlroy responded in the affirmative, saying there are plenty of things on the professional side of things that will keep him occupied in the coming months.

“Am I in a better place? I’m happy with everything that’s going on,’’ he said. “I’m just really focused on my golf. I’ve got a big stretch of tournaments coming up. I’ve got obviously this week and then go back over to the States and World Golf Championship and then the PGA and all the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup. So there’s a lot to keep me busy and just looking forward to that stretch of golf coming up.’’

One of the aspects of McIlroy’s game that has been giving him fits is the trend as of late of following up good — even great — first rounds with absolute disasters on Friday, saying it’s “one that I’d like to try to stop this week.’’

McIlroy only has to look to last week at the Scottish Open to find evidence of his second round struggles. After blistering the course and the field with a course-record 64 on Thursday — highlighted by this 436-yard bomb of a drive — he followed up with a terrible 78 in the second round that took him right out of contention.

It’s more I just got it into my head,’’ McIlroy said. “I may be putting a bit too much pressure on myself, going out on Fridays and trying to back up a score. I have no problem shooting a low one on Thursday, (so) there should be no reason I have any problem shooting a low one on Friday. I need to go out and pretend like it’s a Thursday again. So hopefully this week I can start to turn that second-round thing around and start shooting some better scores.’’

Despite his second round struggles, McIlroy feels he is as ready as he’s ever been heading into a British Open.

I feel as prepared as I ever have coming into an Open Championship, just because four competitive rounds on links and playing in some different conditions up there,” he said. “It was a good week in terms of preparation for this week at the Open.’’

Getting ready to compete among the best golfers in the world and living the single life? McIlroy probably feels like he’s living the good life now. The only thing that may improve his perspective on how good he’s got it is another late-night outing with gorgeous Irish model-singer Nadia Forde … so long as she’s cool with just hanging out and keeping it easy. Rory probably would prefer to enjoy bachelorhood for just a little while longer … not to mention the hoisting of the Claret Jug come Sunday.