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Rory McIlroy spoke for the first time since news of his divorce from wife Erica Stoll was confirmed on Tuesday and ahead of the US PGA Championship at Valhalla

Rory McIlroyclaimed: “I’m ready to play this week” while setting a new personal best for his shortest press conference of the season.

Before his latest attempt to complete his career Grand Slam at the Masters last month, his pre-tournament chat lasted under 11 minutes. Following the news of his divorce this week – and a request not to ask any questions about his personal life – he was in and out of the media tent in nine minutes and 20 seconds and after just seven questions.

The sixth question was: “On a personal level, how are you doing?” The usually loquacious world No.2 immediately shut down the enquiry by stating: “I’m ready to play this week.” This week should have been about McIlroy’s great chance to end his near 10-year Major drought on the site of his last win at the 2014 US PGA.

Orleans with Shane, and then a really good performance last week. Just trying to keep the momentum going.”

McIlroy was keener to talk about the “concerning” resignation of his friend Jimmy Dunne from the PGA Tour’s Policy Board this week. The American, one of the key men behind June’s “framework agreement” with the PIF, quit because “no meaningful progress” had been made on a permanent accord with the Saudis.

Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll are getting a divorce ( Image: Getty Images)
“Yeah, honestly I think it’s a huge loss for the PGA TOUR, if they are trying to get this deal done with the PIF and trying to unify the game,” said the Ulsterman. Jimmy was basically “the” relationship, the sort of conduit between the PGA TOUR and PIF. It’s been really unfortunate that he has not been involved for the last few months, and I think part of the reason that everything is stalling at the minute is because of that.

“So it is, it’s really, really disappointing, and you know, I think the TOUR is in a worse place because of it. We’ll see. We’ll see where it goes from here and we’ll see what happens.

“I would say my confidence level on something getting done before last week was as low as it had been and then with this news of Jimmy resigning and knowing the relationship he has with the other side, and how much warmth there is from the other side, it’s concerning. After fielding his last question, the PGA of America moderator said: “Thanks for your time, Rory. We appreciate it.”

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