Live updates

Rory McIlroy begins quest for Masters glory

All eyes were on Rory McIlroy as he began his bid to complete the career grand slam on Thursday, but it was Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose who made a flying start to the 79th Masters.

Will McIlroy win this weekend's Masters? Credit: Reuters

McIlroy is looking to join Gene Sarazan, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in winning all four grand slam titles by claiming a first green jacket at Augusta National.

But after a drive of more than 320 yards on the opening hole and an approach to 10 feet, the 25-year-old missed out on a first ever birdie on the first at the 23rd attempt.

The world number one then hooked his drive on the second into the trees and ended up in a narrow creek, but after taking a penalty drop was able to pitch out to the fairway and hit a superb approach to save par.

McIlroy was four shots off the early pace being set by American Charley Hoffman, who had hit the first shot of the tournament at 7:45am - following the traditional opening ceremony - and was four under par with two holes to play.

Advertisement

One Direction star Niall caddies for Rory McIlroy

Horan should stick to singing. Credit: Reuters

One Direction singer Niall Horan acted as Rory McIlroy's caddie ahead of this week's Masters in Augusta.

The pop star proved he should stick to singing after badly hooking a tee shot on the ninth into the water.

"I apologise to golf," Horan joked. "I do perform to a lot of people but we were performing to their parents today! There was a lot of pressure."

McIlroy is favourite to win this week's Masters. Credit: Reuters

McIlroy, who is looking to become the sixth player to complete the career grand slam by winning a first Masters title on Sunday, added: "I wanted to do this because it's a big week for me and just to go into the tournament in a relaxed mood. To spend a couple of hours like this was fun."

Advertisement

Golfer McIlroy settles for more than £13m - reports

Rory McIlroy's settlement with his former agent is worth more than £13million after the two came to an out of court agreement, Press Association report.

The golfer was suing Conor Ridge, of Horizon Sports Management regarding the cut the agent was taking from McIlroy's earnings.

"It's in the public domain that the amount of money owing under the contract and the money likely to be generated from the the contract was 20 million dollars," a source said.

Rory McIlroy was in court on Tuesday. Credit: PA

McIlroy had sued Mr Ridge's agency over the cut his firm was taking from on and off-course earnings in a potentially ugly row over £4.2million in fees.

A brief statement agreed between the McIlroy and Ridge camps was released following the hearing.

"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," it said.

"The parties will be making no further comment."

Golfer McIlroy spends 42 seconds in court

Rory McIlroy is involved in a dispute with his former agent. Credit: PA

The world's top golfer Rory McIlroy spent just 42 seconds in court before his lawsuit against his former agent was deferred.

McIlroy is suing Conor Ridge's Horizon Sports Management over the percentage of his earnings they took.

The bitter row over £4.2million in fees has taken the pair all the way to the big business division of the Irish High Court in Dublin.

Court number one in the Four Courts in Dublin was packed, as Judge Brian Cregan agreed to give lawyers for both sides time to open discussions. The case is scheduled to resume at 2pm and is expected to last eight weeks.

Rory McIlroy named Tour Golfer of the Year

McIlroy has enjoyed a stunning year. Credit: PA

Rory McIlroy has been named the 2014 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year after a stunning season on both sides of the Atlantic.

The 25-year-old also won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, and adds the honour to the Golf Writers Trophy he was awarded last week.

"To be named the European Tour's Golfer of the Year for a second time is a huge honour and one I am extremely proud of," he said.

"If I had won any one of those four titles it would have been a good year, but to win all four, to win The Race to Dubai, and to be part of another fantastic European victory in The Ryder Cup, means it is a great one.

"This award is a very nice way to round off the year. The European Tour has always been good to me, so it is always special to be recognised in this way. Hopefully I can have more years like this one and win the award again."

Load more updates