Rory McIlroy might be about to leave Horizon Sports Management but speculation that his father Gerry will play a leading role in his new set-up could be wide of the mark.
Despite Graeme McDowell’s vain hope that McIlroy or Horizon will throw some light on the impending split by issuing a press release, the information black hole has placed his relationship with the world No 2 under some strain, albeit temporarily.
McDowell spoke candidly about what he believes are the reasons why McIlroy has decided to break with Horizon during last week’s Volvo World Match Play. According to reports today, his candour did not go down well with McIlroy, who reacted frostily when asked about his plans by reporters at Wentworth yesterday.
According to the Irish Independent, McIlroy said:
“Ask G-Mac, he knows more than me.”
McIlroy’s reaction was wholly predicatable and his father Gerry, who many believe will take a more active role in his son’s future management set up, was also on the defensive at the BMW PGA Championship.
According to witnesses, when a casual passerby guy suggested to McIlroy Snr that it “sounds like you will be doing a bit of work”, he replied: “No chance, don’t believe the papers.”
McIlroy is expected to give a press conference after this morning’s pro-am but it appears unlikely, given the red-tape in which his relationship with Horizon remains tangled, that he will shed much light on his plans.
What is clear, according to reports from Wentworth yesterday, is that the two-time major winner was less than delighted to read McDowell’s candid comments from Bulgaria last Friday.
The Portrush man, who has risen to world No 7 thanks to two wins in his last three starts and will partner McIlroy and fellow Ryder Cup man Paul Lawrie for the first two days in the European Tour’s flagship event, suggested that McIlroy’s patchy form had prompted him to press the eject-management button.
“I’m pretty sure the management company weren’t giving him golf lessons,” McDowell said last Friday.
He then added: “Management is a funny thing. I always think when things are maybe not going a hundred per cent on the golf course, I think it’s natural to question everything you are doing down to relationships, business, just everything you’re doing.
“Sometimes we decide to make choices and decisions and take new paths that we perhaps feel like, for the bigger picture, will help up improve and get better.
“Rory’s made a decision about his management structure, for whatever reasons, I don’t know.”
McDowell spoke to reporters about McIlroy’s brusque response to their request for comment on the management situation, telling the Irish Independent:
“Well listen, it’s not my problem.
“It’s his problem. I’ll speak to Rory later and we’ll have a conversation.
“I’m very sorry he feels that way. I was in contact with him over the weekend explaining my scenario and the predicament he and Horizon both put me in because, obviously, they have things to sort out themselves.”
The Independent went on to explain that McIlroy warmly congratulated McDowell on his Volvo Match Play win when they met on the range later in the day.
How many Horizon Sports Management representatives get close to McIlroy on the range this week remains to be seen.
Without first hand information from either McIlroy or Horizon on the current state of affairs, McDowell will not be keen to get stuck in the middle for very much longer.