Rory McIlroy declined to address his reported split with Horizon Sports Management on Wednesday, hinting that he was unable to do so because of contractual reasons.
“Look, I can’t really comment on speculation at this point,” McIlroy told reporters during his news conference at the BMW PGA Championship in England. “Obviously you guys know that something’s up. That’s fair enough. But at this point I can’t really say much more.”
Asked whether he could not elaborate because of contractual issues with his present management, McIlroy replied: “Could be.”
It was reported last week that the world No. 2 was leaving Horizon and starting his own management company, which will internalize all of his business affairs and include family and friends. It was the second time since October 2011 that he has changed management.
Asked if he felt any frustration regarding the speculation, McIlroy reportedly told Sky Sports on Wednesday: “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.’”
Graeme McDowell, a friend, fellow countryman and now former stablemate of McIlroy’s, confirmed last week that the young Northern Irishman was leaving Horizon, but added that the split was “fairly amicable.”
“I’m pretty sure the management company weren’t giving him golf lessons or caddying for him or telling him how to play,” McDowell said. “But sometimes when we’re not on our game, we have a tendency to – I’m not going to say make wrong decisions – but we have a tendency to question everything in our lives that we are doing and sometimes we have to make changes.”
According to an AP report, McIlroy took a somewhat pointed jab this week at the man whose name precedes his on the U.S. Open trophy.
'Go ask GMac,' he replied Tuesday when asked about his own management situation. 'He knows more than me.'
McIlroy later denied there was a rift between he and his longtime friend, and said that he spoke with McDowell on Tuesday night.
“It’s all good,” McIlroy told reporters Wednesday. “I’m great friends with Graeme. He’s been a real big brother to me on tour.”