Chubby Chandler said he was 'disappointed and a bit shocked' when Rory McIlroy told him he would no longer employ him as his agent, according to a report by Tim Rosaforte on Golfdigest.com.
'I thought we had a better relationship than that, but he had his reasons,' Chandler told Rosaforte. 'He said he wanted to freshen things up a bit. It's one of those things; he's a 22-year-old with a very strong head who wants to make his own decisions, and one of his decisions was he didn't want us to manage him any longer.'
McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, is leaving Chandler’s International Sports Management and will join fellow Ulsterman Graeme McDowell at Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management, according to numerous reports.
McIlroy broke the news to Chandler in a lounge at Kennedy Airport in New York on Wednesday, after the two had flown from Bermuda, according to Rosaforte. Chandler was headed for a vacation in Dubai, and McIlroy was headed to Istanbul, where his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, is playing in the WTA Championships later this month.
McIlroy released the following statement: “I would like to sincerely thank Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler and his team for their guidance, representation, and management over the past four years, since turning pro.
“Chubby and his team have played a very important role in my success to date. I have made great progress under their management and for that I will always be grateful.
“I am now keen to move onto the next stage of my career and I feel this will be facilitated by a fresh view and a new structure around me. Therefore I am delighted to be joining Horizon and I look forward to working with my new team.”
With Schwartzel winning the Masters, McIlroy the U.S. Open and Clarke the British Open, Chandler came within a PGA Championship this year of winning the “Chubby Slam,” the media-created single-season sweep of the year’s major championships by members of a single management firm.
“Onward and upwards,” Chandler said via ISM’s website. “We have had a quite brilliant year.”
'I'm surprised, but I'm old enough to know this happens,' he told Rosaforte. 'At the end of the day, I thought we did a good job. Obviously he didn't.'