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Rory McIlroy court case appears to be extremely messy

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

You'll likely be seeing this face a lot from Rory McIlroy in the next year. (USATSI)
You'll likely be seeing this face a lot from Rory McIlroy in the next year. (USATSI)

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This is not a good look for Rory McIlroy.

According to Bloomberg the two-time major winner is suing his former management company, Horizon, after leaving to start a management company on his own.

"McIlroy, 24, said he lacked legal advice, business experience and was too young when he signed the deal with Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management on Dec. 21, 2011, according to a statement of claim filed Oct. 9 in the High Court in Dublin. He agreed the contract under 'circumstances of great informality' on the day of Horizon's Christmas party, according to the filing. Horizon said it would defend itself 'vigorously.'"

I'm not a lawyer so I don't know how "I was young and dumb!" plays in court but I wouldn't think it's the best of defenses.

The article goes on to describe that the fees McIlroy was paying Horizon were too hefty (he paid them $6.8 million over 18 months) and more suitable for somebody who wasn't already an elite golfer.

The problem? McIlroy signed a contract.

"Horizon has confidence in its position," the management agency said. "This confidence is underpinned by a legally binding contract and the clear evidence of the exceptional job done for Rory McIlroy by Horizon."

According to The Telegraph McIlroy will have to wait another year to settle the case as the High Court won't hear it until next October. In that article it's also reported that Horizon is claiming McIlroy is set to potentially make $50 million (!) in 2014 based on endorsements alone.

Nevertheless, McIlroy is trying to recoup most of his fee money to Horizon and the BBC is reporting that Horizon will countersue.

As Geoff Shackelford points out, the whole thing is dizzying. He notes that there's a Belfast Telegraph story that says McIlroy didn't sign with Nike until March 2013. What?!

Plus, McIlroy is claiming two instances of fraud by Horizon -- one involving switching a plane ticket from McIlroy's name to somebody else and a $166,000 donation to UNICEF without McIlroy's consent.

I'll be interested to see how this plays out but more interested to see how, and if, it affects McIlroy during the 2014 season. Twelve months is a long time to wait with this many millions hanging over your head and no matter how mature McIlroy might be I can't imagine it not getting to him at least a little bit.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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