Relaxed Rory McIlroy arrives at court early and kills time with a gag

If the case is taking a toll, the world’s top golfer is displaying little sign of it

Joint statement says legal dispute settled to the satisfaction of both parties.

 

Nothing to see and all day to see it. Rory McIlroy and his erstwhile management company Horizon made it past the steps of the High Court without quite forging unto the breach.

Three times they came, three times they sat in front of Mr Justice Brian Cregan, three times they got up and left.

“What a disappointment,” joked McIlroy to the press gallery as he walked past. Ours, he meant. Not his.

In fairness, he seemed typically relaxed about the whole thing. Though the figures will be eye-watering, whatever comes to pass, McIlroy’s life won’t rock on its foundations either way.

He arrived in his seat fully 25 minutes before proceedings, along with his manager Seán O’Flaherty and Donal Casey, the chief executive of Rory McIlroy Inc.

If there is a toll weighing on him from all this, he’s wearing it lightly.

Speeding fine

He was stopped by a female officer for clocking 38 in a 30 zone and lamented that it hadn’t been a male golf fan who’d caught him.

“I might have been able to throw him a few Pro V1s out of the boot if it had been,” he cracked.

The Horizon team sat two rows back, Conor Ridge and his associates possibly looking not quite as carefree. Hardly surprising: relatively speaking they have a fair bit more at stake here than McIlroy.

That said, it would appear they are just as deeply entrenched and maybe even more determined than the McIlroy camp to bed down for the long haul.

At 11.01am, counsel for McIlroy, Paul Gallagher SC, gave the first indication that the haul could be shorter than the press and general public might enjoy.

The general astonishment of legal insiders at the case making it to court at all was evident in the run-up to yesterday and, sure enough, when Gallagher stood up to address Mr Justice Cregan, he immediately moved to take matters elsewhere.

Many issues

Mr Justice Cregan gave his blessing and out they duly filed. Rooms had been readied for them in the law library and while they repaired to narrow those issues, (who pays what, who says what), the press and public went about their day.

The public gallery was full for the morning session but had thinned considerably when we came back at 2pm.

And when Gallagher subsequently reported progress between the sides and asked for a further deferral until 4pm, it seemed to break the public’s spirit. Come 4pm, you could have practised your long putting up on the public balcony.

Down below, McIlroy’s party filed out again, followed by Ridge’s – all to return this morning at 11am and inform Mr Justice Cregan of their progress.

The two parties were still locked in talks in the court building last night, long after everyone had gone home.