IT was love-all in Dubai as Rory McIlroy and girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki fired amusing verbal volleys at each other in front of the world's media.
Danish tennis ace Wozniacki supported McIlroy as he posted a sparkling 66 at the DP World Tour Championship – then pinned her boyfriend to the base line in the post-round press conference.
As a former World No 1 herself, Wozniacki knows how media briefings work.
She sat quietly in the back row of the crowded room until the questions petered out and then, with an impish smile playing on her lips, politely raised her hand.
"Question from a familiar face – the lady at the back," said the 'umpire'.
"You obviously have unbelievable support this week," said Wozniacki (22), adding: "So if you win, am I going to get a nice Christmas present – what am I going to get?"
Given her mischievous nature, McIlroy suspected Caroline might come up with a question or two – but with 32 shopping days to Christmas, no self-respecting chap would be prepared for this.
He tried a passing shot, raising a laugh with: "The support is great, my parents are here!"
McIlroy (left) then added: "Have you not already got a lot of nice presents?"
Wozniacki pressed: "You know Christmas is coming, so. . ."
"I've been looking, I've been looking," McIlroy blustered. "But yeah, I don't think – it won't take winning this week to buy you a nice present. You'll get a nice one anyway."
"Well that may be because I'm an incredible cheerleader," she lobbed.
Back came the smash: "You're a better tennis player."
"That's not nice," Woznaicki pouted.
"No, it is," said McIlroy. "Anything else?"
"That's it for today," she said, handing back the microphone.
As he left the verbal arena, the World No 1 golfer insisted: "It doesn't matter how I fare this week, she'll get a great Christmas present – but she's very hard to buy for!"
McIlroy certainly has the cash to splash out on something special. He won a whopping €11m in prize money and bonuses in 2012, almost exactly as much as Wozniacki has in six full seasons as a tennis professional.
Full report, see sport, page 53