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Rory McIlroy reportedly felt Caroline Wozniacki was hurting his golf game

Rory McIlroy Caroline WozniackiRory McIlroy has been criticized over the past year or so for not spending enough time working on his golf game. The 25-year-old Northern Irishman has fallen off a bit since he burst onto the scene by winning the US Open in 2011 and the PGA Championship the next year.

Was Caroline Wozniacki part of the problem?

McIlroy announced on Wednesday that he has called off his engagement with Wozniacki just days after their wedding invitations were sent out. According to the New York Post’s Page Six, Rory felt that his personal life was affecting his golf game.

“Rory’s game hasn’t been as consistently good in the time he’s been with Caroline,” a source reportedly said. “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.”

Back in July, golf legend Nick Faldo accused McIlroy of not spending enough time on the course and worrying too much about his personal life. McIlroy later fired back and reminded his critics how difficult the game of golf can be. Gary Player made similar remarks when he said McIlroy needs to find the right woman.

Perhaps Wozniacki was losing focus, too.

“When you have two players focused on being No. 1, it’s a huge commitment to see each other, physically and emotionally,” the Post’s 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.”

I still think the love life excuse was overplayed, but you never know. We’ll see how McIlroy plays the rest of the way in 2014.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Kevin Durant gave his shoes to Bubba Watson (Video)

Kevin-Durant-Bubba-Watson-shoesAfter scoring 39 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in a Game 6 series-clinching win over the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night, Kevin Durant decided to take his shoes off and give them to an admiring fan. Some of you may have recognized that fan as two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson.

According to Jeff Rude of Golfweek, Watson has recently become friends with Durant and LeBron James. The relationships began over Twitter and have since progressed to text messaging, which in 2014 is pretty serious business.

“Obviously that’s a big deal for me,” Watson told Rude.

Watson said he began messaging with Durant after the infamous “Mr. Unreliable” headline was printed by The Oklahoman. Durant has since gone ballistic and has carried the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals.

“I sent some messages back to Kevin Durant, when that article came out, or the headline came out, which was one of the dumbest headlines I’ve ever seen,” Watson told Golf Channel’s Jason Sobel earlier this month. “I guess it worked, because it inspired him a little bit, or maybe it’s my text message that inspired him. We’ll go with that.”

Bubba obviously inspired Durant enough that Durant wanted to give him his sneakers, which is all that really matters.

H/T Ball Don’t Lie

Phil Mickelson hasn’t been able to get a tee time at Pinehurst

Phil-Mickelson-Claret-JugPhil Mickelson made nearly $50 million in 2013. According to Forbes, he was the seventh highest paid athlete in the world. Anyone who makes that kind of money can pretty much do whatever they want, right? Wrong. In fact, the second richest golfer in the world can’t even get any tee time he wants.

Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Mickelson, who is in North Carolina for the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow this week, has been looking to sneak in a practice round at Pinehurst — the site of this year’s US Open. Believe it or not, he claims he has had no luck.

“I’ve tried to get down there three times now, and the course has been booked all three times,” Mickelson said. “So I don’t know when I’ll get down there.”

Imagine being the guy on the phone who has to say, “Sorry Mr. Mickelson, we’re all booked up for the next few days.” Granted, Mickelson is probably looking to get out by himself and take his time working on certain shots. That probably makes it more difficult for the course to find time for him.

The US Open is the only major tournament Mickelson has never won. He has finished in second place a whopping six times at the event, and a Grand Slam would really complete his career. Don’t the course managers know what’s at stake for Phil? Make some room for the guy!

H/T Devil Ball Golf

Paulina Gretzky was set up with Dustin Johnson by her mom

paulina gretzky dustin johnson

Paulina Gretzky made her controversial appearance on the cover of “Golf Digest,” and the subsequent feature interview about her is actually pretty interesting and informative.

In the interview, Paulina is asked about her future plans, her relationship with golfer Dustin Johnson, and her golfing background. She also revealed a cool detail about her relationship with DJ — the two were actually set up by Paulina’s mom, Janet.

“At the end of 2011, my mom played with Dustin in the Wednesday pro-am at Tiger’s tournament at Sherwood. She told Dustin about her daughter, blah-blah-blah, and invited him to the house that night,” Paulina shared. “I’m sure he was rolling his eyes, and so was I when my mom invited me over to meet this golfer she had just met. So I show up looking like a complete ragamuffin, and here’s this really cute guy. I didn’t stay long, but he was such a gentleman, so endearing. He’s always been that way to me. We exchanged numbers, and here we are.”

It’s interesting that she says they first met at the end of 2011 because the rumors about them dating didn’t come up until a full year later. Paulina began accompanying him to some of his events in early 2013, and they became engaged last August.

She says right now that her biggest focus is her relationship with Dustin and supporting his career. That means accompanying him to his events, which often causes a stir among gawking spectators, which is something she also commented on.

“Sometimes I feel like a zoo animal out there,” eh told Golf Digest. “People think I can’t hear them—but I can definitely hear you. If anything, just come over and talk to me. I’m not someone people should be afraid of. Everyone is usually very sweet, and there hasn’t been a bad moment for me. But I do feel more comfortable if I’m walking with someone. Of course sometimes I just want to watch Dustin play golf, and I hope people respect that. And you know what? They always do.”

You all got that? Next time you’re at a golf event and see Paulina there, don’t just gawk at her, say hi! She won’t bite!

Oh, and the other great part of the interview? How about Paulina saying she looked like a “ragamuffin”?! I’ve never heard that one, but that is great! Just taking a guess, too, but I highly doubt Paulina would look like a ragamuffin, whatever the heck that is.

H/T NY Post

Bubba Watson celebrated Masters victory at Waffle House

Bubba-Watston-Waffle-House

Bubba Watson won the Masters for the second time in three years on Sunday, and he was still Bubba Watson. Just like in 2012, the water works started flowing immediately for Bubba when he made his final putt. He also showcased his love for Waffle House shortly after receiving his second green jacket.

“Champ dinner @WaffleHouse,” Watson wrote on Twitter. “#hashbrowns #covered.”

After his first Masters win, Watson joked that he was going to serve grilled cheeses from Waffle House at his Masters Champions dinner the following year. He decided to go with grilled chicken, green beans, mac and cheese and cornbread instead. Will 2015 be the year he actually features Waffle House? We wouldn’t be surprised. No amount of green jackets is going to change this guy.

Related: Bubba Watson gets love from wife Angie and son Caleb after win

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Bubba Watson gets love from wife Angie and son Caleb after win

Bubba Watson wife son

Bubba Watson on Sunday won the Masters for the second time in three years, becoming the 17th golfer to win the prestigious event at least twice.

Watson had his support team at Augusta National and received some special love from his wife, Angie, and young son, Caleb.

Immediately after winning, Caleb, who is just over two years old, waddled onto the green and was picked up by his dad to receive a big hug and kiss:

Bubba Watson son Caleb

Bubba and Angie met in college at the University of Georgia where both were athletes. Bubba played golf, of course, while Angie played basketball.

The two adopted Caleb just over two years ago when he was a month old.

When Bubba won his first Masters two years ago, he had a matching green jacket made for his new baby son. Maybe he’ll have to get a second one that fits Caleb!

Both Bubba and Angie cried after he took home his second green jacket, making the accomplishment all the more special.

Bubba Watson wife son Masters

Jordan Spieth chips in for birdie (GIF)

Jordan Spieth is looking to become the youngest Masters winner in history at Augusta on Sunday. He’s off to a good start.

Spieth put his tee shot in a bunker at the 4th hole and had the spectators and viewers at home thinking he needed to get up and down to save par and remain in a tie atop the leader board. He decided to hole it instead. The 20-year-old hit a beautiful shot from the sand and it dropped in for birdie.

Jordan-Spieth-chip-in

No word yet on whether or not Spieth’s girlfriend Annie Verret is in attendance. We wouldn’t be surprised to see her get some TV time if Jordan makes history.