Rory McIlroy settles contract dispute with Horizon Sports

Rory McIlroy can concentrate fully on winning the career Grand Slam at Augusta National this April after he and former management team Horizon Sports Management settled their long legal dispute.

After 18 months of bitter wrangling, the two sides needed only 10 hours to reach an out-of-court settlement.

McIlroy appeared briefly in Dublin’s High Court on Tuesday before Justice Brian Cregan postponed the case after hearing the two sides were “making progress” in discussions. Lawyers for both sides negotiated for 10 hours at the Four Courts complex in central Dublin. Today, the parties issued a joint statement:

“The legal dispute between Rory McIlroy and Horizon Sports Management has been settled to the satisfaction of both parties who wish each other well for the future. The parties will be making no further comment.”

McIlroy, 25, of Northern Ireland, sued Horizon for £4.5 million (approximately $6.8 million) over allegations that Horizon’s fees had been excessive and that he had been coerced into signing an “unconscionable” contract at a Christmas party. Horizon countersued for £13.5 million ($20 million), claiming breach of contract for unpaid fees.

The trial was expected to last about eight weeks, with an estimated cost of £40 million ($60 million).

Although details of the settlement were not released, reports indicate that McIlroy settled out of court for about £13 million ($20 million).

McIlroy was not in court when the statement was read, but Horizon’s Conor Ridge attended. Ridge hugged and kissed supporters after the announcement was read.

Email and phone messages seeking comment were left with Ridge but not immediately returned.

McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, won the recent Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour. He is coming off of a four-victory season in 2014 that included the Open Championship and PGA Championship. He lacks winning only the Masters for the career Grand Slam.

– Alex Miceli contributed

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