x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy married to their success

The fact that the pair ranked atop the sport’s most-eligible bachelor list furthered the conversation, as did the crazy circumstances, in Facebook parlance, of their “relationship status”.

Days after Rory McIlroy abruptly reneged on marriage plans, he came from seven shots back to win the PGA Championship last week. Glyn Kirk / AFP
Days after Rory McIlroy abruptly reneged on marriage plans, he came from seven shots back to win the PGA Championship last week. Glyn Kirk / AFP

Adam Scott said, “I do.”

Rory McIlroy said, “I don’t.”

Walking down a fairway with a caddie in tow is one thing, but ambling down an aisle with a life partner on your elbow is another.

Never before have fans spent so much time discussing the personal developments of two top players in the same narrow time span, though the unpredictable end result was the same – their first wins of 2014.

The Australian Scott validated his position as world No 1 with a thrilling play-off victory last weekend, knocking in two birdies in three extra holes to win at Colonial, six days after he supplanted Tiger Woods atop the rankings.

Six hours earlier, McIlroy, playing with a heavy heart and no small amount of guilt, won the European Tour’s signature event at Wentworth.

Of course, the fact that the pair ranked atop the sport’s most-eligible bachelor list furthered the conversation, as did the crazy circumstances, in Facebook parlance, of their “relationship status”.

Throughout his career, Scott has been mum about his private life, including romances with actress Kate Hudson and tennis star Ana Ivanovic.

He married long-time girlfriend Marie Kojza on April 17 in a surprise ceremony – invitees had no idea the marriage was planned – and last weekend was making his second start since tying the knot.

Inviting guests is where McIlroy, a former world No 1, hit the wall. He and fiance Caroline Wozniacki split early last week after mailing out invitations, when McIlroy got cold feet.

Emotionally gutted, McIlroy had to face the music at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, a course for which he has no love, if you will.

McIlroy had not won on the US or European tours since claiming the DP World Championship in Dubai in 2012, a span of 18 months.

Some, including Gary Player, had suggested that Wozniacki was hurting his development.

“He’s got to find the right wife, and beauty is not the answer,” Player said last summer. “If he finds the right wife, if he practises, if he’s dedicated – a lot of ifs – he could be the man.”

As he toppled out of the world top 10, the harsh sentiment gained momentum. True enough, though, given career paths that rarely intersected, their personal logistics were nightmarish.

Though he found some sanctuary on the course, McIlroy was numbed by it all.

“I didn’t know whether to feel happy, to feel sad,” he told BBC Radio. “Somebody asked me today to describe how I feel. I don’t know how I’m feeling.

“I’m very happy I won, but there have been a few other things in my life this week that have been very difficult.”

selling@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter at SprtNationalUAE