Rory McIlroy appeared unlikley to address speculation that he is leaving Horizon Sports Management to strike out on his own when he spoke to Sky Sports shortly before his media conference ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Asked if he felt frustration with the questions about his business life off the golf course, he said: “No, not really. I’m here to talk about my golf and talk about the week ahead or the few weeks ahead with the US Open and building up to that. That’s all I’m really prepared to talk about here.”
Asked if the headlines had been a distraction or if he felt a sense of frustation about the speculation, McIlroy said: “No, not at all. Someone very smart said to me a couple of weeks ago, if you want to be in the circus, you have to put up with the clowns.
“It’s just the way it is.”
Addressing the issue at his media conference, McIlroy said: “Ok, I’m here to try and stay on point and talk about golf and talk about everything else. Look, I can’t really comment on speculation at this point. Obviously you guys know that something’s up. That’s fair enough. But at this point I can’t really say much more.”
Asked about his apparent annoyance with Graeme McDowell following his fellow Ulsterman’s comments on the management change (“Ask G-Mac. He knows more than me.”) he shot down any talk of a problem between them:
“I spoke to Graeme yesterday afternoon. We got back to the hotel and we just had a chat. Everything’s good. So there won’t be any pulling clubs out of the bag at the wrong time the next few days or any of that stuff (laughter).
“Look, it’s all good. I’m great friends with Graeme. He’s been a real big brother to me on Tour. I remember playing practise rounds with him at the Dunhill Links, for example, back in 2007 when I got my card. He really showed me the ropes out here for a couple years, and you know, it’s great to have good friends on Tour and he’s obviously somebody that I consider a very good friend.”
Asked about the exact meaning of his “put up with the clowns” comment, he said:
“I thought it was quite a good comment. Something someone very smart told me a couple of days ago.
Q. Is it in relation to the management or—
RORY McILROY: No, it’s just - think about it. Just think about it.”
McIlroy did not shoot down the possibilty that he might manage himself some day and all but confirmed that his refusal to comment on the management issue was due to his current contract with Horizon.
Q. Would you ever fancy managing yourself?
RORY McILROY: We’ll see.
Q. When do you expect it to be sorted out, and was it a mistake at Sawgrass to say so definitely that nothing’s changing?
RORY McILROY: No, I mean, again at that point, I can’t really comment on it. I mean, I don’t want to get myself in a position where I don’t want to be in. Look, it is what it is, and the truth will all come out one day, and I guess you’ll just have to be patient.
Q. Is this because of contractual (inaudible) with your present management?
RORY McILROY: Could be.”