Buried Deep in the Sand Trap of Conflict

27 Oct

Rory McIlroy is the #1 golf player in the world.

But he has decided to skip two golf tournaments in next couple of weeks. Why? Injury? Family reasons?

Nope … it’s because he is preparing for a trial.

That, in a nutshell, is the price of conflict that escalates to litigation.

In the spring of 2013, Rory left Horizon Sports Management, about six months after signing a contract with Nike, which is reported to be a 9-figure endorsement deal. At issue is the commission which Horizon is entitled to.

So the parties sued each other. The judge recommended mediation to keep sensitive documents from going public.

But the two-day mediation failed to produce an agreement and now the parties are going to trial, probably in February.

That’s four months away. Can you imagine how stressful this is going to be in the meantime? And how much energy Rory will devote to the conflict instead of to his golf game? And the money it will cost?

Not to mention forgone income. According to, Rory has three PGA tour wins under his belt in 2014 and has won almost $8.3 million. Missing two tournaments won’t add to that total!

And now, all of the details of the dispute will be aired in public. Irish newspapers are speculating that Rory could be on the stand for as many as two weeks. Wow.

Golf Ball in Sand Trap - CompressedSo, I’m sure that Rory and his attorneys and those for the other side reviewed their cases and assigned probabilities to various possible outcomes. And they all made their respective decisions to proceed to the courtroom with their eyes wide open.

But from the perspective of a mediator, these parties seem to be buried deep in the sand trap of conflict.






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