For the better part of two years now, Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki were sport’s most talked-about couple. Both young stars had climbed to the top of their respective crafts, and for all the turmoil they had gone through, it seemed that the story would have a happy ending, as they got engaged on New Year’s Eve in Australia.
Now, it’s just an ending.
Just hours before the start of a practice round at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship, McIlroy released a statement announcing that he and Wozniacki had broken off their engagement, just days after sending out their wedding invitations.
Taking the high road, McIlroy put it all on himself, deflecting any criticism from his long-time girlfriend. “The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realize that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails,” McIlroy said. “I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had.”
Breakups, to be blunt, suck. We’ve all been through them, and at least most of us didn’t have to do so on a public stage like McIlroy is, but that’s the price of fame, especially when your significant other is a famous athlete as well. But hopefully the two are able to move on and focus not just on their careers, but on just being happy, as all of us deserve to be.
With any luck, McIlroy can continue to play well, as the BMW PGA Championship is essentially the European Tour’s version of The PLAYERS Championship, a flagship event that would certainly mean a lot for the Northern Irishman to win.
If nothing else, most of the criticism McIlroy faced last year – was he just too love-struck to focus on being the best golfer in the world? – should come to an end soon. With at least a bit of that pressure off his shoulders, we could see him come back as good as he’s ever been, even if it doesn’t happen right away.