Rory McIlroy is tired of being distracted by legal issues

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Embroiled in court cases on both sides of the Atlantic, Rory McIlroy has been visiting lawyers’ offices instead of winning golf titles this year.

Rory McIlroy: Golfer is tied up with legal cases. HIs last win came a year ago.  Eugene Hoshiko
Eugene Hoshiko
Rory McIlroy: Golfer is tied up with legal cases. HIs last win came a year ago.

The Northern Irishman remains without a victory in 2013 as he returns to Dubai this week to defend his last victory, the World Tour Championship. He’s slipped from No. 1 in the rankings to No. 6.

In the 12 months since, he has become tied up in legal wrangling with his former management company, Horizon Sports Management, and his former sponsor, Oakley.

“I’ve seen more lawyers’ offices and more lawyers this year than I care to see in my entire life,” McIlroy said Tuesday. “It’s not something I ever want to go through again, and I’m making sure that I won’t go through it again.”

MOVING UP: The McGladrey Classic at St. Simons Island Ga., might not be hurt so much next year from missing players who were in Shanghai the previous week. Tournament officials said the 2014 event will be held Oct. 23-26, before the tour does its two-week Asia swing.

Equally important for the tournament, it will be before the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville, Fla. Sea Island is the unofficial headquarters for Georgia fans going to the game.

BIG EASY IS OUT: The original field for the World Challenge that Tiger Woods plays host to each year in California included Ernie Els, who had never played the unofficial event. The Big Easy has kept his streak alive.

He withdrew this week to play the Nedbank Challenge in his native South Africa on Dec. 5-8.

Els was replaced in the 18-man field at Sherwood Country Club by Dustin Johnson.