VIRGINIA WATER, England — Rory McIlroy says he hasn’t turned on his phone and doesn’t have his laptop as he copes with his breakup from Caroline Wozniacki.
A day after he revealed the sports stars canceled wedding plans and ended their five-month engagement, McIlroy overcame an uneasy appearance and rain delays with one of his best rounds at Wentworth, a 4-under-par 68 to open the BMW PGA Championship on Thursday.
It was his second lowest in 17 rounds on the famed West Course, and just the fourth occasion in the European Tour’s flagship event he broke 70.
He threw up his arms in delight after holing out from 130 yards for eagle at the par-four 7th hole, and after landing a 203-yard, 5-iron second shot to six inches of the par-five 12th hole.
He still trailed first-round clubhouse leader Thomas Bjorn by eight shots, and was in no mood to play up his score.
McIlroy was asked by reporters if he had spoken to Sergio Garcia, after the Spaniard offered a comforting shoulder to the Northern Irishman, given Garcia endured two high-profile relationship bustups with tennis great Martina Hingis, and Morgan-Leigh Norman, the daughter of Greg Norman.
“No, I haven’t spoken with Sergio even though I did see him a couple of days ago,” McIlroy said.
“Also, I haven’t turned on my phone for a few days, and I’ve given my laptop away. I’m sort of living like I’m in the ’70s again.
“It’s a good thing Sergio offered to speak to me. It’s nice, but he hasn’t, but then everyone … look, everyone goes through it. It’s part of life and it’s tough. You know, people that have come up to me have been very supportive, and it’s been nice.”
McIlroy was also quizzed why, after releasing a statement on the split with Wozniacki, he went ahead with a news conference on the eve of the BMW PGA Championship.
“It was played out in the media so much that it was probably the best way to do it,” he said. “It was just a natural thing to do I guess.
“But while I’m sleeping well, it’s still tough. I’m not really that comfortable with standing here talking about it.”
McIlroy called off his engagement to Wozniacki, saying in a statement Wednesday that he “wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.”
McIlroy, 25, said he was making the announcement after talking to Wozniacki. They got engaged on New Year’s Eve.
“The problem is mine,” McElroy said in a statement released through his management firm. “The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realize 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,” he added. “I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we have had. I will not be saying anything more about our relationship in any setting.”