Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki are through, according to a report in the Irish Independent.
The pair first met during a boxing match between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye after McIlroy’s 2011 U.S. Open win at Congressional C.C., making their relationship public shortly thereafter.
The couple has reportedly been finished a couple of times, including most recently in late August. The pair refuted rumors then by sharing pictures together on Twitter.
One of those pictures, of McIlroy snoozing with his glasses on in mid-September, and the ribbing he received is what the Irish Independent says prompted McIlroy to end the relationship. (That seems a little far-fetched, but that’s what they’re going with. It makes it especially easy to deny or refute such a petty reason.)
Last time reports of a split surfaced, the primary evidence cited was a change in the Twitter profile pictures of both athletes. For the curious, McIlroy’s Twitter avatar is of himself in Nike gear, propping himself up against his golf bag on the course. Wozniacki’s Twitter profile pic still features her and McIlroy.
For what it’s worth, the Irish Independent also first published the August report of a break-up.
The former world No. 1 has not played to his established high standard in 2013. After making a big splash in signing a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike Golf, McIlroy has not won a tournament, with his best finish coming in the Valero Texas Open back in April, posting four other top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour.
McIlroy has also decided to bring the handling of his business affairs in-house, so to speak, forming Rory McIlroy Inc. after announcing a surprising split from Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management, leaked in May, less than two years into their partnership.
Golf legend Gary Player has been especially critical of the time McIlroy has spent with Wozniacki, reaffirming his position on their relationship to ESPN this week.
“If you’re a young man like Rory, you can’t play with worries,” Player said. “You can’t have managerial problems, you can’t have women problems. You’ve got to be out there and have a free mind. And that’s why Arnold [Palmer], Jack [Nicklaus] and I won something like 55 majors between us. Because we had three wives that were very, very special.”