Top Golfer McIlroy Settles Legal Case; Terms Private

Rory McIlroy and his former agent settled a multimillion-dollar lawsuit in Dublin, ending a distraction to the world’s top golfer as he prepares for the Masters Tournament, the only Grand Slam that has eluded him.

All matters have been resolved, Paul Gallagher, a lawyer for McIlroy, said Wednesday in court in Dublin. The deal was hammered out the day after the civil trial was scheduled to start. The financial terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.

McIlroy, who wasn’t in court today, sued Horizon Sports Management Ltd. to end what he called an “unconscionable” contract that cost him $6.8 million in fees. Horizon counter-sued, with a lawyer for the company saying in December that $9 million in unpaid fees was still owed.

The case had been settled to the “satisfaction” of both sides, according to a joint statement handed to reporters. Conor Ridge, head of Horizon, embraced friends in court after the settlement was announced.

McIlroy will pay Horizon between $25 million and $30 million, the Irish Times reported, without citing anyone. Terry Prone, a spokeswoman for McIlroy, and Billy Murphy, a spokesman for Horizon, declined to comment.

McIlroy, 25, had said he lacked legal advice, business experience and was too young when he signed the deal with Dublin-based Horizon on Dec. 21, 2011, according to court documents filed last year. He agreed to the contract under “circumstances of great informality” on the day of Horizon’s Christmas party, according to a filing. McIlroy started his own management group in 2013, the second change in two years for the Northern Irishman.

McIlroy won the U.S. PGA Tour’s Player of the Year award for the second time in October after capturing consecutive major titles and leading all golfers with $8.3 million in prize money. The No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, McIlroy recorded a tour-leading 12 top-10 finishes, with three wins, in 17 events last season.

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