Rory McIlroy hints that legal trouble with sponsors led to poor play in 2013
Everyone wants to assume that Caroline Wozniacki is the reason Rory McIlroy tumbled from the top of the World Golf Rankings in 2013, but there has been no real indication that his girlfriend is the problem. On Tuesday, McIlroy admitted to reporters that his switch from Oakley to Nike has been an issue. No, he’s not talking about his golf clubs.
According to The Daily Mirror, Oakley took legal action against McIlroy in January when he signed a massive endorsement deal with Nike. McIlroy also terminated his contract with Ireland-based Horizon Sports Management and started his own management company, which led to more legal trouble.
“It’s something that I don’t really think any athlete or anyone should ever go through,” McIlroy told reporters in Dubai in advance of the World Tour Championship, a tournament he won last year. “I’ve seen more lawyers’ offices and more lawyers this year than I care to see in my entire life. It’s not something I ever want to go through again and I’m making sure that I won’t ever go through it again.”
While he stopped short of blaming his struggles solely on the legal battles, McIlroy admitted they have been a significant distraction.
“But as a golfer you want your mind as clear as possible, and it’s obviously hard for that to happen if you’ve got other things that are going on that, firstly, you don’t want to happen, and secondly you don’t feel should be happening,” he explained. “It’s been a distraction.”
See, we knew he wasn’t faking it by sending tweets like the one he sent last month. The good news for McIlroy is he’s only 24 years old. Assuming he gets his legal issues straightened out, he has more than enough time to get back to dominating the sport.