World number one Rory McIlroy admits he is annoyed to still be spending time on legal battles rather than the golf course, but insists it will have no impact on his bid to complete the career grand slam.
Ahead of last year’s DP World Tour Championship, McIlroy said he had seen “more lawyers this year than I care to see in my entire life” due to his legal dispute with his former management company.
But 12 months on, the 25-year-old arrived in Dubai having missed the first two events of the Final Series to prepare for a scheduled February court date in that exact same dispute with Horizon Sports.
“Of course I’m annoyed that it’s still going on, but it is what it is,” said McIlroy, who secured a second Race To Dubai title in three years on Sunday last when none of his nearest rivals — Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia and Marcel Siem — were able to win the Turkish Airlines Open.
“I’ve been saying that a lot recently. I can’t do anything about it. We tried our best a few weeks ago to come to some sort of resolution and it didn’t work.
“It’s not the best thing to be going through, but at the end of the day it will be over and done with a good bit before I have to go down Magnolia Lane in April and that’s fine by me. As long as I’ve got a clear head going there, I’m happy with that. I’m not missing anything that I would normally play anyway.”
Asked why he was so confident his preparation for the Masters would not be affected by off-course events, McIlroy joked: “I’ve got used to it. That’s what it is. I’m better at compartmentalising between stuff that’s happening off the course and then being able to focus on what’s going on on the course.
“It’s just something that it’s been a part of my life for the last couple years, so that’s how and that’s why I handle it better now. I just try and learn from everything and move on.”
“I feel like I have a clear path going forward now. I feel much more comfortable sitting here this year than I did in 2012 because there was a lot of things up in the air at that point in 2012, changing equipment and there was a lot of stuff going on in my life, but there’s much more stability now and I know exactly what I need to do.”
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