• Golf

McIlroy 'wiped clean' important data, court hears

ESPN staff
December 10, 2014
Rory McIlroy's court case with Horizon has been rumbling since 2011 © Getty Images

Rory McIlroy deleted information from up to eight electronic devices that may have contained important data relating to his legal action against his former management firm, Horizon Sports, a court has heard.

Horizon's lawyers said the devices, some of which belonged to other key figures in the case, including father Gerry McIlroy, were restored to their factory setting.

McIlroy takes writers' award

  • In better news for Rory McIlroy, he has won the Association of Golf Writers trophy for the second time in three years.
  • McIlroy was the overwhelming choice after winning two majors - the Open and PGA Championship - a World Golf Championship and the European Tour's flagship event, BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
  • The Golf Writers Trophy is awarded to the European who has made the most outstanding contribution to the sport.
  • Martin Kaymer was runner-up after his wire-to-wire, eight-shot victory at the US Open at Pinehurst, along with his victory in the Players Championship.
  • The Ryder Cup team, which had an easy time beating the United States at Gleneagles, finished third.

Senior counsel Paul Sreenan, representing Horizon, said the action seemed "incredible for a person in his position".

Horizon has asked the court for further disclosure, including inspection of electronic devices, because McIlroy had failed to respond to requests for further disclosure.

Mr Sreenan added that McIlroy and three others close to him had also wiped their devices before passing them on to others or to charity.

McIlroy, in an affidavit sworn in Florida on Monday, said he had already provided significant amount of detail for the case, in compliance with a previous court order.

He said he had not been advised it was necessary to back up material before factory resetting his phones, which he changed regularly to have the most up-to-date model. He added that he used the internet-based 'iCloud' storage system to transfer data between phones, but he reset the old phones to preserve his privacy and avoid unsolicited calls.

McIlroy is suing Horizon, claiming a representation agreement signed by him in December 2011 is invalid and unenforceable on a number of grounds including alleged undue influence.

Horizon deny this and have counter-claimed for £1.9m they claim is outstanding under the agreement for off-course revenues.

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