Sport Golf

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Sergio Garcia gives Rory McIlroy heartbreak warning

Spaniard insists course may not offer refuge for heartbroken star

Karl MacGinty at Wentworth

Published 22/05/2014 | 02:30

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland chats to former footballers Andriy Shevchenko and Gianfranco Zola (R) on the putting green
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland chats to former footballers Andriy Shevchenko and Gianfranco Zola (R) on the putting green

AS Rory McIlroy battled bravely to keep his emotions in check at Wentworth yesterday, Sergio Garcia outlined what can become of the broken-hearted golfer.

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Few are better qualified than Garcia to offer McIlroy his counsel after the shock announcement yesterday that the Ulsterman's engagement to Caroline Wozniacki is over.

The Spaniard, who dated Swiss tennis star Martina Hingis and then had his heart broken by Greg Norman's daughter Morgan-Leigh in May 2009, warned it could take weeks or months to recover emotionally.

"I've been through the same sort of thing a couple of times," explained Garcia. "I broke it off when I split up with Martina but Morgan was the one who left me. And of course how you react is very different.

"When you are the one who leaves someone, you can usually get over it quicker. But either way it is always a hard thing to do when you have been with someone for a period of years and shared so much together.

"It should be easier if it's mutual," added Garcia and the statement issued on McIlroy's behalf yesterday suggested that was the case.

"But if it's a really painful break-up you try to get away from it by throwing yourself into golf more than ever and it doesn't always work out."

"Every case is different but for me the hurt of the break-up was one of the reasons I felt I had to stop playing the game for a while," admitted Garcia, who failed to make the European Ryder Cup team at Medinah in 2012 and has only returned to peak form in the past year.

Being a celebrity couple would not have put undue pressure on McIlroy's relationship with Wozniacki, he said. "If a relationship is strong enough it shouldn't make a difference if both people are in the public eye. It's something you're both probably used to anyway.

"We all go through these difficult moments in life. Things are no different for us because we are famous golfers. We are real people too and we get hurt emotionally sometimes, the same as everyone else.

"Things do get better, and I'm sure Rory knows that. I haven't seen him since I heard the news, but when I do I'll definitely put my arm around his shoulder and ask if he wants to talk."

Irish Independent

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