Title: Comment: Rory McIlroy begins to realise that for the dollars to roll in so must the putts
Description: My private life is private said Rory McIlroy when asked in South Korea to comment on the status of his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki, oblivious to the fact that his right to privacy was compromised by the loved-up content of his Twitter feed many moons ago. In the case of his legal battle with his jettisoned agent, Horizon, he is bound to stay silent so as not to risk prejudicing outcomes, not that there is much left to conceal after the details of his dispute were revealed in all their gory glory in a Dublin court. What emerges as McIlroy returns to work tomorrow after four weeks away is a golfer complicating his life by decisions that were intended to simplify it. McIlroy has not come close to victory in a year in which he was unveiled as the future of Nike golf. A sum of $20m (£12.5m) annually is a lot to fork out on a golfer ranked 60th in a European money list he won last year. Or maybe Nike is happy to have a breadth of coverage unrelated to golf. If so the company will be delighted with the daily bulletins about the end of the romance with Wozniacki, and about the juicy details of his financial relationship with Nike spilt in the pages of court documents. Nike must be thrilled at the confirmation of a $100m five-year deal he signed with it in January. Though a figure remarkably similar has been in the public domain, it was never acknowledged by the sportswear giant or McIlroy. Its disclosure sets the benchmark nicely for other athletes in future negotiations. Any idea that the return to action at the Korea Open would be about the golf was obliterated by the twin assault on the media's senses of love and money. Wozniacki is desperately trying to hang on to her man with denials of a split and the continued use of McIlroy's portrait on her Twitter handle. McIlroy can control his response, but not the progress of the legal war unleashed this week. In the meantime McIlroy must piece together his game to retrieve something from his worst season as a professional golfer. When McIlroy left his first manager, Chubby Chandler, to join Horizon his stated ambition was to be No 1 on and off the course, the best golfer in the world and the highest earner. For a spell he was both, before the golfing juggernaut that is Tiger Woods re-established pre-eminence on the course, and after the consequent restoration of his reputation, off it as well, with lucrative deals to appear in China and Turkey in the next month. There could be no greater evidence of his commercial rehabilitation than the willingness of emerging golf nations to seek out Woods to project on their behalf.