Rory McIlroy and former agent seek settlement to avoid long court case

Rory McIlroy and his lawyers held negotiations with his former agent Tuesday in a bid to reach a settlement in their multi-million-dollar court case.

The two sides met for five hours at the High Court complex in Dublin, and the case was adjourned until Wednesday morning.

The top-ranked golfer is suing Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management and its leading agent, Conor Ridge, claiming he was misled into signing a contract with the company. McIlroy initiated the case in 2013.

Judge Brian Cregan said progress had been made between the two sides Tuesday and he agreed to allow further last-minute talks to try to avoid a long and costly trial. The case had been expected to last eight weeks.

McIlroy was in court, along with business executive Barry Funston, who oversees the golfer's charity work, and his cousin, Brian McIlroy. Ridge was also in court.

Wearing a dark suit and glasses, McIlroy arrived at the court on Tuesday morning for the start of proceedings. The case was quickly adjourned until the afternoon and then again until Wednesday as the two sides continued to negotiate.

McIlroy has said in court papers that he signed the contract at Horizon's Christmas party "in circumstances of great informality," and without having seen a draft of the agreement before it was given to him to sign.

Horizon is counter-suing, claiming McIlroy owes it millions of dollars in commissions.

McIlroy, who left Horizon to form his own management company in 2013, was expected to testify in court this week.

The four-time major winner is coming off a victory at the Dubai Desert Classic last Sunday.

Speaking before the tournament, McIlroy said he hopes the court case "won't take that long, and we can get on with our lives."

"It's not something you want hanging over your head and it's not something I'd want anyone to go through, it's not a nice process," McIlroy said. "It's a shame it's gone this far and that two sides see things completely differently. The only way to sort it out is to get a judge to come in and tell us what to do."