Nadia Forde reportedly got an apology phone call from Rory McIlroy’s camp when tabloids portrayed Co Antrim model Sasha Gale as the 25-year-old sport star’s latest new squeeze when they stepped out together last week.

Gale and McIlroy had a leisurely lunch on Belfast’s Lisburn Rd last Tuesday and the profile of the little known model went global, report the Irish Independent.

Since then, the media has speculated that the golfer is playing the two women. However, Nadia and Rory have not been dating in recent months, with Forde telling McIlroy she wants friendship and not romance.

"They were getting on great, she thinks he is a really good guy, but then this week it all went a bit pear -shaped," one of the model’s friends told the Sunday Independent.

"Nadia feels if they are going to be friends then there has to be respect. When she had to walk through the airport last week with snappers [photographers] shouting at her and asking how she felt about Sasha and whether or not she had anything to say to the girl, she was very upset at being caught off-guard. She would have appreciated a warning, as his mate.

"It was obvious Nadia was going to get roped into the story having been linked to Rory and it would have been nice to get a call from him in advance if he knew what was about to kick off.

"Rory apologised to her and seemed upset that he had caused her needless embarrassment. From what I gather he also said there was nothing going on with this Sasha girl - it was just lunch."

"But Nadia stressed to him that they are just friends now so she has no issue with any girl he dates and said he doesn't need to give her any explanation.

"All he needed to do was let her know what she was waking up to in the papers."

"As far as I know she hasn't replied to any of Rory's latest texts and right now she's wondering if it's worth the drama of being his friend at all.

"She has been very loyal to him, if you notice they have never been pictured together in the papers and she has never spoken about him but right now she's wondering why she would bother inviting all this stress into her life.

"She is being painted as a jilted lover when the funny thing is that she was adamant these past few months that they should just concentrate on being friends and go from there.

"She has her head screwed on, she knows the place he is at in his life and what he needs to do, but she is not going to be made to look foolish either."

A friend of Rory's told the Sunday Independent: "Rory really likes Nadia. She may over-react to all of this and she shouldn't."

"He's like Paul McCartney at the same age. Girls want to spend time with him. It's not that he's the cynical sailor type with a girl at every port, he is actually hopelessly romantic. He is a great listener, warm, friendly and funny as well as being famous.

However, he warns: "Any girl getting ideas of permanence after two or three dates is going to be disappointed."