NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy says an arm injury won’t keep him out of the European Masters next week in Switzerland, and confirmed Thursday that he’s dating top-ranked women’s tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.
McIlroy, attending the New Haven Open tennis tournament with Wozniacki, received a massage on his injured right forearm at the Connecticut Tennis Center on Thursday after spending Wednesday hitting golf balls at the TPC River Highlands in nearby Cromwell.
He said the arm feels about 85 percent healthy. He sustained what trainers described as a wrist tendon injury in the opening round of the PGA Championship earlier this month when he struck a tree root on a swing.
“It’s not actually my wrist, it’s more up into the front of my elbow,” he said. “It’s OK. It’s not 100 percent.”
He also confirmed he plans to play “maybe 17, 18 events” on the PGA Tour next year.
“For me, I play my best golf over here and I just want to spend a bit more time over here,” he said.
He did not rule out playing in the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, but said the tournament’s date, the week after the U.S. Open, might make that tough.
He said he would love to see Wozniacki win her own U.S. Open, calling the prospect of them both owning that championship, “pretty cool.”
He also told reporters it would be fine to refer to her as his girlfriend, ending one of the worst kept secrets in sports. He attended her second-round match here Tuesday, and has been seen by her side for weeks.
“Why it’s going so well is that we have so much in common,” he said. “Obviously, different sports, but we’re pretty much in the same position at a young age and we can talk about things that probably a lot of 21, 22-year olds can’t talk about. It’s nice to have someone that sort of understands what you’re going through.”
Wozniacki, a three-time defending champion in New Haven, advanced to the tournament’s semifinals with a straight-set win Thursday.
She said its nice to be able to get advice from Rory, who already has won a major championship.
“I think we give each other some advice once in a while, you know, if there’s something we’re not quite sure of,” she said. “It’s just nice to get an opinion. Yeah, it’s nice.”