- European Tour
McIlroy still pals with G-Mac, quiet on split talk
Rory McIlroy insists he has not fallen out with Graeme McDowell, after his compatriot appeared to confirm that the two-time major champion is set to leave his management company.
McIlroy, the world No. 2, is widely expected to announce a split from agents Horizon Sports sometime this year, in order to set up his own, family-run operation. However, he is yet to speak publicly about the move, telling a press conference on Wednesday that he wanted to "stay on point and talk about golf".
McDowell, who is also represented by Horizon, made that difficult earlier this week, however, when he seemed to confirm his compatriot's impending departure.
"It seems like the rumours are correct and Rory will be leaving to do his own thing," McDowell said. "I'll be disappointed to see him go but my relations with Rory are fine - I'll leave it for Rory and Horizon to sort out."
McIlroy admitted talking with McDowell about what he said to the press, but insists they have not fallen out.
"There has been a lot of speculation but it's not something I can comment on," said McIlroy of his possible move. "Graeme and I are great friends - he's maybe said a few things I wasn't happy with but we had a chat and all is OK."
He added: "Ask G-Mac. He knows more than me. I spoke to Graeme on Tuesday afternoon. We got back to the hotel and we just had a chat. Everything's good."
Evading persistent questions about a management change, McIlroy strongly suggested that contractual wrangling is forcing him to keep his counsel while terms of the split are being worked out.
"I can't really comment on speculation at this point - obviously you guys know that something's up," he said. "That's fair enough. But at this point I can't really say much more."
He then added: "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."
McIlroy was also asked about the ongoing controversy surrounding his friend Sergio Garcia, who made an ill-advised comment about world No. 1 Tiger Woods at a European Tour awards dinner on Wednesday.
"It was an off‑the‑cuff comment and it shouldn't have been said, and I think Sergio realised that as soon as he said it," McIlroy said. "And you know, I think as Tiger said, it's time to move on. It's a bit of a mountain of a molehill at this point; and I think everyone knows that they are not the greatest of friends.
"I was sitting on the sofa at the front [when Garcia made the comment] and I sort of glanced back and was like, 'Ahhhh'; but you know, it is what it is. I think he really does regret what he said and he's truly sorry for it."