Golf: McIlroy court case deferred as sides seek to narrow issues

Golfer Rory McIlroy (left) arriving at the High Court in Dublin on Feb 3, 2015. Lawyers for McIlroy requested that the start of the world No. 1 golfer's case with his former agents be deferred by three hours for the two sides to narrow the issues ahe
Golfer Rory McIlroy (left) arriving at the High Court in Dublin on Feb 3, 2015. Lawyers for McIlroy requested that the start of the world No. 1 golfer's case with his former agents be deferred by three hours for the two sides to narrow the issues ahead of a possible eight weeks in court. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

DUBLIN (REUTERS) - Lawyers for Rory McIlroy requested that the start of the world No. 1 golfer's case with his former agents be deferred by three hours for the two sides to narrow the issues ahead of a possible eight weeks in court.

The four-time Major winner terminated his contract with Horizon Sports Management in September 2013 to form his own company, prompting a protracted dispute which forced McIlroy to take time away from the golf course to prepare for the case.

Dressed in a navy blue suit and wearing black-rimmed glasses, the 25-year-old Northern Irishman arrived at Dublin's High Court on Tuesday to a scrum of some 30 photographers and camera crews amid intense international media interest.

His lawyer Paul Gallagher was granted the request to defer the proceedings in order to "narrow the issues at hand".

After signing a number of lucrative sponsorship agreements, including a deal with Nike in early 2013 worth a guaranteed US$100 million (S$135 million) over five years, McIlroy decided that his relationship with Horizon was no longer in his best interests.

McIlroy, who will probably take the stand at some point, is suing his former agents over the "unconscionable" contract he signed, while Horizon are counter-suing him on the grounds that he owes them millions of dollars in commission on contracts up to 2017.