Timing is everything, or so it’s been said. Rory McIlroy’s former representation at Horizon Sports Management claims their ex-client timed his lawsuit against the Dublin-based firm to coincide with the wedding of their highest-profile client: McIlroy’s countryman Graeme McDowell.
The Irish Independent reports counsel for Horizon Sports and McIlroy’s former agent Conor Ridge accused McIlroy and his team of filing suit in Irish Commercial Court on Sept. 27, 2013, just a day before McDowell was to be married to Kristen Stape in the Bahamas -a ceremony Ridge was attending.
Horizon counsel claimed the timing was meant to “inflict maximum reputational damage through the media,” saying McIlroy and his counsel referred to McDowell’s wedding date as “D-Day.”
McIlroy did not attending the wedding, saying he was required to be at a Nike photo shoot. Last year at the U.S. Open at Merion, McIlroy said his relationship with McDowell was as good as it has always been.
The former world No. 1 is suing Horizon, claiming he signed a contract different in nature than terms he verbally agreed to, obligated to pay larger fees than anticipated to his representation for deals with Bose and Nike Golf. Horizon has countersued for approximately $35 million in lost revenue and breach of contract.
The trial is set to begin next January, requiring McIlroy to be in attendance in Dublin. The hearings will coincide with the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, an event McIlroy has been paid a seven-figure appearance fee to play.