McIlroy, 25, revealed yesterday that he had cancelled his impending wedding and split from Wozniacki just days after sending out invitations having realised that he “wasn’t ready”.
The Northern Irishman immediately faced the crowds in yesterday’s pro-am event and admits the European Tour’s flagship tournament represents a welcome and timely distraction.
“I’m not going to lie – it’s going to be very difficult,” he said. “I just want to dive straight into it and keep myself somewhat busy.”
McIlroy plays alongside Ernie Els and Welshman Jamie Donaldson. Justin Rose tees off with fellow Englishman Lee Westwood and champion Matteo Manassero.