Did McIlroy hint at summer settlement with Horizon?
 Rory McIlroy in action during the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in California last week. Photo: Kenneth E.Dennis /  kendennisphoto.com  /  golffile.ie

Rory McIlroy in action during the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in California last week. Photo: Kenneth E.Dennis / kendennisphoto.com / golffile.ie

He may simply have been trying to fob off a reporter but when Rory McIlroy loudly insisted at the door of the clubhouse to Sherwood Country Club that he would not be doing any one-on-one interviews until the middle of the next summer “when everything has settled down” you wonder if an out-of-court settlement of his dispute with Horizon Sports Management might be on the cards.

The case is scheduled to go before the Commercial Court in Dublin next October but with almost an entire season to go before then - including the Ryder Cup in Scotland - it would seem prudent to get this noxious issue off the agenda as soon as possible.

It’s not unsual for reporters to trail after players in the wake of media centre interviews in the hope of getting some material that has not already been broadcast live on Golf Channel, tweeted to the world at large or distributed globally in the form of a verbatim transcript. Others may simply be trying to arrange future interviews without recourse to the agent (ie the men whose job it is to say ‘No.’)

The player will inevitably keep moving in such circumstances, avoiding autograph hunters that may force them to slow down from double march pace to quick march, leaving them open to unwelcome questioning by other undesirables such as the unhinged, or the press.

So it was at Tiger Woods’ end of season bash last Wednesday after McIlroy had given his pre-tournament interview about almost every aspect of his season bar his off-course business dealings.

Observing the mayhem surrounding a player as he dashes from one safe haven to the next, running the gauntlet of fans and press for a few brief seconds, is often as entertaining as one of those Discovery Channel documentaries involving antelopes and big cats, or vultures. 

FC Barcelona President Sandro Rossell was so desperate to avoid talking to the press when he arrived at a function earlier this year that he demanded that he be allowed go to the toilet. Sadly for him, he ducked into the ladies. 

Sandro Rossell’s exit stage left:

McIlroy didn’t have to go to such lengths. He cannot talk openly about his management issues given the legal issues involved but observing his “escape” at Sherwood last week it was impossible not to overhear him declare to a US colleague that a one-on-one chat would have to be put off until the middle of the season, giving the distinct impression that all will be resolved by then. 

No clarification was forthcoming, leaving us wondering if 2014 will be as full of mystery and intrigue as 2013.