The "Summer of Rory" didn't get off to a great start. But it has certainly gotten better.
In late May, McIlroy broke off his engagement to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki just days after sending out wedding invitations. Over the next few months, the 25-year-old golfer from Northern Ireland has added two more major victories to his resume, making him just the fourth player in the last century to win four majors at 25 years old or younger.
Could the breakup possibly have been a catalyst for his incredible summer? Yes, according to McIlroy.
"I think what happened has been for the better in terms of my golf. I've put a bit more time into it and it has refocused me. I mean, what else do I have to do now? I go to the golf course, I go to the gym and it's just my life at the minute," McIlroy told ESPN before the final round of the PGA Championship. "I worked pretty hard before but the past couple of months I've really just buried myself in my game. It obviously works pretty well, so I am going to keep doing it."
McIlroy and Wozniack had been dating since 2011 and were engaged this past New Year's Eve. During the 2013 season leading up to his engagement, McIlroy didn't record a win on the PGA Tour, even missing the cut at the British Open. In the middle of his bad season, NBC analyst Johnny Miller speculated that his relationship was throwing him off.
"I think he's in love for the first time," Miller told the San Francisco Chronicle in July 2013 asked what's wrong with McIlroy. "It's a wonderful feeling, and it's distracting."
Now, it looks like McIlroy is distraction-free.