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Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship: Loved-up Rory McIlroy upbeat about prospects

posted on 15/01/2014: 1978 views

While tennis player Caroline Wozniacki showed off her brand-new diamond engagement ring after her first-round match at the Australian Open, her fiancé and former world No 1 golfer Rory McIlroy was at a press conference in the Middle East.

The lovebirds were probably unaware that they would be fielding the same questions from the media — when, where and how the proposal was made?

Though McIlroy dodged the question of whether he chose the old-fashioned way of going down on one knee to propose as he prepared for Thursday's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Wozniacki revealed that ‘he did'.

"It's been a great start to the new year and great end to last year as well with the win in Australia,” said McIlroy. "To get engaged there was special. I was always going to do it [propose] on New Year's Eve. But I was expecting it to be in Brisbane and not Sydney. Caroline had to pull out with shoulder injury and then we thought it will be nice to spend New Year in Sydney.”

One couldn't have chosen a better setting and the two-time Major winner revealed that he made his move hoping "she would say yes”.

"We were on a boat at Sydney Harbour watching the fireworks front of the Opera House,” said the Northern Irishman, who began seeing Wozniacki in the summer of 2011, shortly after he won his first major with a record-setting performance at the US Open. "She was surprised and I had an idea that it might have been something that she wanted. I hoped she would say yes. But it is a long, funny story and I would like to keep it personal.”

With his love life taking a new direction, McIlroy feels he is in the right frame of mind coming into the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. He has yet to register a win here in the capital but has had a few top-10 finishes.

"I feel like I'm much better prepared heading into the first event,” said McIlroy. "My swings are much better placed and I'm in a good frame of mind. Last year, there was a lot of instability. I'm starting this year on a different platform and I can focus on my golf.

"I had couple of chances to win but [three-time winner Martin] Kaymer was too good at times. It is a long course and you have to really hit it well at the tee.”

The 24-year-old who won only one tournament in 2013, edging Adam Scott in December's Australia Open, revealed that he had put in some quality time at the Els Club's Butch Harmon School of Golf in Dubai in the build-up to Thursday's event.

"I did work my backside off,” McIlroy said. "I felt that was needed. I worked on a few different areas and a couple of little things on my swing, which I wanted to get completely right. My golf swing, because it is quite a natural motion, is always going to evolve. I played quite a few golf games and did lot of gym work.” – Gulf News – Read more:


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