The Ryder Cup is about pride, not about prize money. But Graeme McDowell’s agent could not have asked his star player to capture worldwide headlines at a more opportune time.
Bar his endorsement of the Dubai-based construction and real estate company, the Al Naboodah Group, all of the current US Open champion’s contracts are up for renewal at the end of year.
“It’s huge, huge,” said 34-year old Dubliner Conor Ridge, who founded Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management five years ago.
McDowell has been transformed since he joined Horizon from Chubby Chandler’s ISM at the end of 2007 and the boutique Irish company has since added his Ryder Cup team mate Ross Fisher to the stable.
“I don’t think it gets much bigger than what he has done already this year, but it does inflate it to a degree,” Ridge said of McDowell’s Celtic Manor heroics. “It means more for him personally than anything else because he loves the Ryder Cup. Marketability wise I think he did his work on that during the summer.”
Nevertheless, Ridge was sitting in a strong position when he met with McDowell’s club sponsors Callaway Golf to continue contract re-negotiations at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland on Tuesday.
“His timing is impeccable,” added Ridge with a grin.
McDowell also has deals with watchmaker Audemars Piguet, Ballantine’s scotch, Stuburt footwear, Marquis Jet and the renowned Dubliner tailor, Louis Copeland.