McIlroy's wife locked him out of Twitter after Elkington spat

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Rory McIlroy plans to take a long break from Twitter after instructing his wife to change his password and keep the new log-in details to herself following a spat with Steve Elkington.

Former PGA Tour player Elkington riled the four-time major champion by questioning his appetite for golf after he missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month.

"Rory is bored playiing [sic] golf...without Tiger the threshold is prolly [sic] 4 majors with 100mill in the bank," was the verdict of the 1995 PGA Championship winner on Twitter.

McIlroy responded with a screenshot of his exploits so far in his career, writing "More like 200mill... not bad for a "bored" 28 year old... plenty more where that came from." 

Elkington hit back with: "New [sic] you were a money guy Jack [Nicklaus] won 18 and never mentioned his total cash.. It was 5 mill." That prompted McIlroy to reply again by posting: "That's why jack designed 100's of golf courses... and it's knew... mustn't have taught grammar in the 50's...."

The Northern Irishman has regrets over responding to the Australian and said there will be no repeat for the foreseeable future after his wife, Erica, locked him out of his account.

Speaking on the eve of the Irish Open, the defending champion and tournament host said: "I must have wrote that tweet and deleted it about five times before I actually sent it.

"I sort of regretted sending it at the end. I actually gave my wife Erica my phone and said 'change my Twitter password and don't tell me what it is'.

"As of the time being I'm off social media for that reason, I don't need to read it. It's not stuff that should get to you and sometimes it does, but I'm off it for a while."

McIlroy thought Elkington should have known better than taking aim at him, given that is is familiar with the pressure of playing at the highest level.

He added: "It's not what was said, it was who said it. Anyone that has been in that environment should realise how golf is at times and I think that's 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 could say to myself 'they don't know how it is and what you have to deal with'.

"But a former player that has won a major and been successful, that's why it got to me and why I retaliated."