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McIlroy settles row with former sponsor

GOLFER Rory McIlroy has reached an amicable settlement in his legal dispute with former sponsor Oakley.

The world number six McIlroy (24) said he was "delighted the case is now behind me" in a statement issued on the website of his new management company, Rory McIlroy Inc.

However, McIlroy is still embroiled in an acrimonious legal dispute with his former agents at Horizon Sports Management, which is due to be heard by the Commercial Court in Dublin next October. Oakley initiated legal proceedings against the Co Down native in the California District Court last December, alleging they'd not been given adequate opportunity to match the terms of the new $20m per annum contract McIlroy had signed with Nike.


However, according to yesterday's statement "the legal claims brought by Oakley against Rory McIlroy in California have been amicably settled to the satisfaction of both parties".

Pat McIlvain, vice-president of Oakley Sports Marketing, stated on the company website: "We are very pleased the proceedings against Rory have been resolved."

He said they had enjoyed an excellent relationship with Mr McIlroy as an Oakley brand ambassador.

"He conducted all his engagements on our behalf with energy and professionalism.

"We recognise that in his business dealings with us that, were the subject matter of this dispute, Rory was represented by his agent," the statement read.

McIlroy said he always had an "excellent working relationship" with Oakley's representatives and he was "delighted" the case was now behind him.

The central plank of McIlroy's defence in the Oakley case was a September 12 email sent by McIlvain to McIlroy's agent, Conor Ridge, which stated "Understood. We are out of the mix. No contract for 2013. Pat Mac."

Last month, McIlroy lodged a 350-page Statement of Claim with the Commercial Court in which his lawyers seek to have his contract with his former management firm declared null and void and allege Horizon "did not exercise their fiduciary duty of responsibility towards their young client".