The problem is mine, says Rory as he calls off big day for sport's golden couple
Published 22/05/2014 | 02:30
They were sport's golden couple who became engaged on New Year's Eve following a romantic proposal on a boat with a €148,000 diamond ring.
McIlroy (25) said that seeing the invitations at the weekend made him realise he "wasn't ready for all that marriage entails", adding "the problem is mine".
"There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people," he said in a statement. "I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we've had."
Friends of the couple said they were shocked and surprised by the decision. Plans for the wedding were said to be well under way. The couple reportedly hired a wedding planner in New York in February and planned to marry on November 8.
Invitations had been delivered to a number of high-profile guests, including Bill Clinton.
McIlroy indicated that he will be allowing his former fiancee to keep the eight-carat diamond ring, which he went down on bended knee to present to her after a New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney, pictured right.
A source said: "He will be letting her keep the ring after the split. He wants to try to keep things amicable between them, and he has no intention of asking for it back.
"When he proposed, he meant it with all his heart and it's just unfortunate how things turned out.
"They were together nearly three years and that time meant a lot to him, so he would like to see her keep the ring."
The couple had separated before – once in October after Wozniacki posted an unflattering picture of her sleeping boyfriend on Twitter. But they appeared happy in recent months and spent the last week together in Monte Carlo.
McIlroy, who lives in a €7.4m home in Florida, announced the separation in a statement released yesterday morning. Later in the afternoon, the two-time major winner held a press conference at Wentworth golf club in Surrey, ahead of today's BMW PGA Championship.
He appeared upset. Asked about the separation, he said: "Obviously (it is) quite a difficult time for Caroline and myself, and the statement really said it all this morning. It was mutual – we both thought it was the best for us."
Rory may have taken bravest way out: Pages 38-39 See sport: Pages 66-67