Back in business? ‘Wozilroy’ soaking up the sun at Duabi golf classic

Story highlights

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki pictured together at Dubai Tour Championship

Reports had claimed the couple ended their relationship a few months ago

McIlroy shoots two under at European Tour's final event at the Jumeirah course

Henrik Stenson on course to add Race to Dubai crown to his FedEx Cup victory

CNN  — 

Are one of sport’s most high-profile power couples back together? Or did they never part?

The sight of golf’s two-time major winner Rory McIlroy and former World No. 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki striding down the fairways in Dubai certainly set a few tongues wagging.

A mass of media reports had claimed the duo were no longer an item, both parties remaining tight lipped whenever they were quizzed about their relationship in recent weeks and months.

But Wozniacki followed the Northern Irishman for all 18 holes of his opening round at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai – the climax of the European Tour season.

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The Dane had tweeted a picture of McIlroy playing tennis the previous day as she begins her preparations for the new tennis season.

Despite her support McIlroy occasionally cut a frustrated figure out on the Jumeirah course, carding an opening round of one-under-par, having been three under for his first four holes.

McIlroy is five shots off the lead, held by Spain’s Alejandro Cañizares, with Henrik Stenson – who is aiming to be the first golfer to win the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup series as well as the Race to Dubai – on four-under.

“It’s much better than it has been the last few months and I am playing better, which is important,” McIlroy told the official European Tour website.

“It’s good that the game is back on track. I have this event and two more so it would be great to get a win before the end of the season.”

Sweden’s Stenson carded a round of 68 – his only bogey of the day coming after he missed a short putt on the final hole.

If making history wasn’t enough motivation for Stenson perhaps his bet with another potential winner – England’s Ian Poulter – might be.

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Some months ago Stenson agreed to act as drinks waiter for the pair on a night out should Poulter overhaul him and get the 345,000 points he needs to win the Race to Dubai title.

At his pre-tournament press conference Stenson told reporters: “That’s probably my biggest motivation, not to become his servant for a day. He is certainly not going off that bet and I know he is up my tail.”

But Stenson is well placed to fend off the challenge of Poulter, as well as other potential winners, 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who won the U.S. Open in 2010.

“It has been a lot of hard work all season and I just let my focus slip on the last,” Stenson told the official European Tour website of his solitary bogey.

“That sucks, but I am still in good shape and playing nicely. The guys are running on fumes so everybody is looking forward to getting done.

“You can’t win a tournament on Thursday but you can certainly play your way out of it. I would have taken four-under at the start of the day so I just have to let the disappointment of the last slip away.”

Poulter is only a shot further back but was frustrated he didn’t make more of the opportunities he gave himself.

“I am annoyed,” Poulter said. “I made two putts which were outside birdie chances and took a couple more but the rest were missed. I am frustrated but happy to be only three behind.

“I need to continue to be aggressive and see if I can nick it at the end. It’s a good mix to be really angry being three under par and still being in there for the next three days.”