McIlroy case resumes Wednesday

Mr Justice Cregan postponed the case for three hours, for another two and then until Wednesday morning after hearing the two sides were “making progress” in discussions.

The 25-year-old golfer is suing his former management company for ??4.5m, alleging he was coerced into signing an “unconscionable” contract at a Christmas party.

Dublin based,Horizon Sports Media, is counter-suing him for ??13m, alleging breach of contract and unpaid fees for helping to negotiate some lucrative sponsorship deals.

The bitter dispute has rumbled on for 18 months and a previous attempt at arbitration proved unsuccessful – when legal costs are included, the lawsuit could total ??40m.

The case is scheduled to last eight weeks and the World No 1 faces the prospect of having his finances laid bare during cross examination in a public courtroom.

But the lengthy delay in proceedings has fuelled speculation that the two parties are close to reaching an out-of-court settlement, protecting both their reputations and their privacy.

The four times major winner, from Holywood in County Down, flew into Dublin on Sunday evening, fresh from his three shot victory in the Dubai Desert Classic at the weekend.

There was standing room only in courtroom number one – 35 journalists had descended to hear the world-famous sportsman giving evidence in the witness box.

The golfing commentators among them were more keen to know if he could wrap the case up in time to let him concentrate on winning that fifth elusive major – the US Masters.