PGA golfer Rory McIlroy shocked golf and tennis fans Wednesday by announcing that he has broken off his engagement with former world No. 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.
Even more stunning: The 25-year-old former No. 1 golfer called things off after the invitations were sent out over the weekend.
He issued a brief statement, describing the break-up as mutual and amicable. They two reportedly planned to marry in New York in November and had spent the last week together in Monte Carlo.
“The problem is mine,” he said in the statement. “The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn't ready for all that marriage entails.
“There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people. I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we have had.”
He and Wozniacki, 23, had been a couple for more than two years. Rumors of a split dogged them last year, but then they announced their engagement on New Year’s Eve, both posting the happy news on Twitter.
"Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!! My first victory of 2014 #shesaidyes!!" McIlroy tweeted after proposing in Sydney.
Two hours after issuing the break-up statement McIlroy, at times holding back tears, appeared at a packed press conference at Wentworth in England for the BMW PGA Championship. The European Tour’s flagship event starts on Thursday.
“This was an incredibly courageous effort by the 25-year-old, whose sombre demeanour, heavy eyes and solemn words left absolutely no room for doubt about his heartache,” The Irish Independent in Dublin noted of the Northern Ireland golfer.
Asked by one reporter how tough the break-up is, McIlroy said, “Look, I’m no different than anyone else ... Everyone has been through break-ups and it obviously has been very, very difficult.”
He told reporters that he didn’t see any need to withdraw from the tournament, but acknowledged that “it’s going to be very difficult.
“But you know, at least when I get inside the ropes, I’ll just try and concentrate on the shot at hand.”
No word yet from Wozniacki, but we bet she has many, many words on the matter.