Rory McIlroy finds sanctuary after split from Caroline Wozniacki

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Rory McIlroy believes the stars aligned for him this week at Wentworth as he sealed his first European Tour title in almost two years.

The Northern Irishman could not have had a worse start to his weekend after splitting from fiancée and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

However, despite going on somewhat of an emotional roller coaster on his way to the West Course, McIlroy says the chance to play golf provided a welcome escape from what was otherwise a stressful time.

Asking if the events in his personal life affected his performance, McIlroy said: "I guess when I got inside the ropes this week, it was a little bit of a release. I was on my own doing what I do best, which is play golf, and that gave me four or five hours of serenity; just focusing on the job at hand.

"I can't explain it. It's obviously been a week of very mixed emotions, but I'm sitting here looking at this trophy going: 'how the hell - how did it happen this week?', but it did."

Those words were backed up by Luke Donald, who finished tied for third after a decent final round of 70. The two-time winner of this competition also said he was not surprised by McIlroy's victory, despite a two-year gap between this and his last European Tour triumph.

Donald said: "Obviously we all know what he's been going through, and you know, sometimes making those tough decisions takes a weight off your mind in a way and he can engulf himself in the golf and obviously [McIlroy] played very well.

"I played with him yesterday and he looked like he was swinging well. He's been knocking on the door a little bit in the last few months and golf is a very funny game.

"He's at a place where he can't even make the cut usually the last few years, but he goes and wins it. That's the beauty about this game."

Before today, the best McIlroy had finished in the BMW PGA Championships was fifth, putting him in a bracket of players thought to struggle with the layout of Wentworth's West Course. McIlroy says the heavy rain gave him a distinct advantage.

Asked why he performed so well, McIlroy said: "The rain. With it being so soft, it played a lot differently. It played into my hands.

"Balls were bouncing off fairways into rough, bouncing off greens. You didn't have to try to play from front edges, you could play aggressive target golf, which isn't usually the style of golf you need around Wentworth."

Not only did McIlroy play well, Thomas Bjorn, outright leader after 54 holes, had a comparatively disastrous final round at three over. McIlroy theorised that, having had such a terrible week in his personal life, that the stars had aligned for him. 

He said: "You know, with everything that happened with Thomas and Luke making mistakes on front nine (both triple bogeyed the sixth), and even Shane [Lowry] making a few bogeys coming in, I just seemed to be cruising and it seemed like it was sort of meant to be in some strange way."


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