Rory McIlroy's legal dispute with his former management company, Horizon, took another interesting turn on Monday as the World No. 1 announced he will take a short break from the game to prepare for the forthcoming court case.
According to the Irish Independent, who broke the story, Rory will skip the BMW Masters and the WGC-HSBC Champions, and not play any tournament golf until the World Tour Championship in late November. And with the trial slated for early next year, McIlroy could be forced to miss more action.
"I'm going to need time away from tournament golf to prepare for the trial over my legal dispute with Horizon Sports Management," Rory told the Independent. "The court-directed mediation process failed over the weekend to resolve the issue."
Once McDowell's name was included in the suit a judge ordered both parties to discuss a potential settlement. Those talks broke down on Monday, so the lawsuit will go to trial early next year, with McIlroy due to take the stand.
In his article for the Daily Telegraph, James Corrigan discusses the potential golfing implications:
There will be inevitably be concerns that the experience and the fall-out could affect McIlroy's preparations for The Masters, which starts on April 9 at Augusta, where he will try to become just the sixth player in history to win the career Grand Slam.
McIlroy is due to play in Abu Dhabi from Jan 15-18 and then at the Desert Classic from Jan 29-Feb 1. His next start after the Dubai event is scheduled to be the Honda Classic, which takes place in his adopted home town of West Palm Beach, beginning on Feb 26. An exact date for trial has yet to be set, but reports in Ireland suggest that McIlroy could spend up to two weeks on the stand.