Rory McIlroy asked his wife to change his Twitter password to avoid any further controversy.

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Rory McIlroy asks wife to change his Twitter password

Goes into social media exile after Twitter spat

CNN  — 

How does an international sports star with more than 3.5 million Twitter followers avoid posting in haste and then regretting it?

By getting his wife to change his password.

That’s what Rory McIlroy has done to enforce a self-imposed social media exile following a recent public spat on the platform.

The world No. 4 was embroiled in a Twitter row with Australian Steve Elkington after missing the cut at the US Open last month.

The 54-year-old Elkington, the 1995 US PGA champion, suggested that with four majors and “100mill in the bank” the Northern Irishman was “so bored” playing golf.

McIlroy fired back: “More like 200mill, not bad for a ‘bored’ 28-year-old. Plenty more where that came from.”

The tweet included a list of his achievements pasted from Wikipedia, but the row rumbled on, with Elkington suggesting McIlroy was only motivated by money, while McIlroy criticized the Australian’s grammar.

McIlroy admits now he wishes he hadn’t reacted, and plans to boycott social media for “the time being.”

“I must have wrote that tweet and deleted it about five times before I actually sent it,” McIlroy told reporters ahead of the Irish Open at Portstewart Wednesday.

“I sort of regret sending it at the end but I actually gave my wife, Erica, my phone and my Twitter and told her, ‘Change my password to something else and don’t tell me what it is.’

“So as of the time being, I’m off social media just because of that reason. I don’t need to read it. It’s stuff that shouldn’t get to you and sometimes it does.

“It is not what was said. It was who said it and anyone who has been in that environment should realize how hard golf is at times. That is the thing that got to me more than anything else.

“If it was written by a member of the media or something I could let it slide, because I can sort of say to myself, they don’t really know how it is and they don’t know what you have to deal with.

“But a former player that has won a major and been successful, that’s sort of why it got to me and that’s why I sort of retaliated a little bit.”

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McIlroy, who is the defending Irish Open champion, last won in September when he clinched the Tour Championship to win the PGA Tour’s season-long FedEx Cup and with it a $10 million bonus.

He won the last of his four major titles in 2014, when the did the British Open-US PGA double.

Elkington won 10 PGA Tour titles between 1990 and 1999.

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The year’s third major, the 2017 Open Championship, begins at Royal Birkdale in northwest England on July 20.