Rory McIlroy has claimed his first win of the New Year, but it’s off the course with his engagement to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.
One of the top power couples in sports announced their engagement Tuesday night on Twitter, which was Wednesday morning in Australia. A spokesperson for McIlroy confirmed he popped the question in Sydney, where Wozniacki is starting to prepare for the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne.
"Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!! My first victory of 2014," McIlroy tweeted. He added a hash tag, "She said yes!!" Wozniacki sent out a similar tweet a few minutes earlier that said, "Happy New Year everyone! Rory and I started 2014 with a bang! ... I said YES!!!!"
The Tweet included a collection of three photos -- her engagement ring, a photo of them together and fireworks over the Sydney Harbor.
The news will certainly quash the two reports out of Ireland this year that they were splitting up. One of those reports was in August, even though McIlroy and Wozniacki had dinner in New York the subsequent night ahead of the U.S. Open in tennis.
The couple were first seen together in the summer of 2011, shortly after McIlroy won his first major with a record-setting performance in the U.S. Open at Congressional. They confirmed they were dating a few months later, and they were never afraid about sharing their relationship on social media.
McIlroy is coming off a rough season in which he was unsuccessful in meeting massive expectations while changing golf equipment to Nike Golf. He also left his management company in a bad split that is to be settled next year in an Irish court. The 24-year-old Northern Irishman did not win a tournament until the Australian Open in December.
It was his first year of stern criticism, and McIlroy said it only irritated him when it involved his personal life.
"I don't care what people say about my golf," he said. "It's when people start digging into my personal life, that's where it starts to annoy you -- whether it's Caroline, whether it's management, all that stuff shouldn't be a consequence to how I play my golf."
When he was asked jokingly whether they sperated five or six times this year, McIlroy gave a hearty laugh and said, "Something like that."
Wozniacki accompanied him to the World Challenge in California before they headed to south Florida and his new home for the first part of the holidays. He later went on to Northern Ireland before heading Down Under.
Tweets of congratulations about their engagement began pouring in including European teammates Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Francesco Molinari.
McIlroy makes his 2014 debut on January 16th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.