Rory McIlroy is set to disappointed a world full of women – he wants some ‘me’ time after long term relationships with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and childhood sweetheart Holly Sweeney.
The young Irish golfer has also confirmed that he will ban himself from all social media for the foreseeable future.
As he talks stock following the end of his engagement to Wozniacki, just days after she had spoken of having children and the couple had posted the wedding invitations, McIlroy has opened his heart to the Sunday Independent.
In an open and frank interview with the paper’s esteemed golf correspondent Dermot Gilleece, McIlroy spoke of his new determination to enjoy life on his own terms.
He said: “I’m finding myself. That’s probably how I would describe it. I’m having a lot more time on my own right now; a lot more time to think.
“With Holly and Caroline it’s sort of the first time in nine years I haven’t been in a relationship; that I’ve actually been on my own.
“So, I’ve got a lot more free time which has meant a lot more headspace. I’m sort of rediscovering who I am, on my own. It’s strange, being in a situation I haven’t known for nine years.
McIlroy told the paper that it’s been both enriching and revealing.
He added: “I don’t want to seem selfish but I’m giving more attention to my own thoughts, my own needs.
“As a person, my natural instinct is to make sure that people are OK. I like to take care of people. But I’m finding that concentrating more on myself has been a good thing. I suppose I could sum it up by saying that it has been a great time for exploring myself.
“There’s this great quote ‘Know Thyself’. As a competitor in golf I believe I know who I am. I’m never going to have the intensity of Nick Faldo, or Tiger. And as to where I am and what I want to be, the answer is that everything is centred around golf for me right now.
“I want to be the best at what I do. And I’ve got a great support system around me that lets me go and do that. That’s at the minute. There might be other things down the line, like family or business ideas, whatever. But right now it’s purely golf.”
Having ditched his mobile phone and his laptop in the immediate wake of his break-up with Wozniacki, McIlroy will now keep away from social media.
He admitted: “Absolutely. It’s something I’ve learned. I don’t need every aspect of my life to be online, or out there.
“I’ve simply begun to take note of how other people handle their lives. People like Phil Mickelson, for instance. He’s so personable. So likeable. So fair-minded. And with a great family life. I like the sort of image he projects. Who wouldn’t?
“Tiger’s a different character and a lot different to me in many ways. OK, he’s a little higher than I am, but in terms of his public image. And I have no intention of cutting myself off.
“I love people knowing about me and my game, things they’re entitled to know about me as a public figure. But not personal stuff.”