Rory McIlroy played dumb when asked on Wednesday about Gary Player’s publicized comments about his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki.
McIlroy met with the media at Firestone Country Club in Akron and said he hadn’t heard about Player’s comments. In a recent radio interview, Player didn’t specifically say Wozniacki was a bad girlfriend, but he implied that McIlroy might not be with the right woman.
Player later tried to clear up his comments with the following tweet:
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) July 29, 2013
Even though Player’s comments made headlines this week, McIlroy claimed he hadn’t heard about them.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” McIlroy said when asked about the comments.
“I have the utmost respect for Gary Player. He is an incredible man. Obviously the success he’s had on the golf course, but just the way he’s lived his life and how healthy he is. Obviously he’s an inspiration for everyone. I don’t know what he said. This is the first time I’ve heard it. I don’t really know, all I know is I’ve got a lot of respect for the man, and he’s someone that I definitely look up to.”
Player was not the first high-profile member of the golf community to question McIlroy’s love life. Golf analyst and former major winner Johnny Miller did too. Additionally, Nick Faldo recently criticized McIlroy for not spending enough time on his golf.
Though many are blaming McIlroy’s struggles this year on his love life, I don’t think that’s the reason for his problems. McIlroy is only 24 and just signed a mega deal with Nike. He changed his all his clubs (and still hasn’t figured them out) and now has a new set of expectations to live up to. I think the Nike deal put a ton of pressure on him and took him out of his comfort zone. If anything, I’m guessing Wozniacki has been good for McIlroy’s personal life.