March 19, 2024

Rory McIlroy’s ex-agent claims PGA Tour star has ‘lost love for golf’ | Golf | Sport


Rory McIlroy’s former agent Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler has suggested he’s lost his passion for golf after a difficult Players Championship. McIlroy, 34, produced plenty of birdies at TPC Sawgrass and was even the tournament’s co-leader after the first round – but constant bogies ended his dream of a second Players title.

The four-time major winner, who hasn’t won one of golf’s big tournaments for 10 years, finished in T19 at TPC Sawgrass on nine-under-par. Scottie Scheffler, the World No.1, won the event after hitting eight-under-par on the final day to finish on 20-under-par overall.

McIlroy also had a mixed performance at the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational, finishing far from the lead in 21st place. This was seen as a warm-up for the Players, the PGA Tour’s biggest event and the so-called ‘fifth major’. McIlroy’s golf game in Florida didn’t show fans that he’s ready for the big Masters next month, the one major he’s yet to win. He’s also dealing with tough words from his old manager Chandler.

Chandler told the Irish Post: “McIlroy looks disinterested. Tiger and Nicklaus would never have sacrificed a year of their careers like he did. Rory looks disinterested to me. He doesn’t look sharp. It looks to me at the moment that last year took an awful lot out of him, and suddenly he got let down, and he’s finding it hard to get back up again.

“That’s what it looks like to me. There is no spark in his eyes, no twinkle. He had about an hour and a half on Saturday afternoon where he was like the old Rory, but you know that bouncy step he has when he’s playing well, it’s not there, and I’m sure that year out of his life, or 18 months, took its toll.”

Chandler also suggested that McIlroy may have lost his sparkle after becoming a top money maker. He added: “And don’t forget about Rory; he’s got a lot of cash. He and Tiger have billions and the rest haven’t. I can’t imagine having a billion dollars and playing as hard as he does. He looks like he is finding the game a grind. Last week, he wasn’t there for it at PGA National; he wasn’t there for it at Arnold Palmer; those are two nice events for him. It’s worrying.”

Yet McIlroy believes his game is “headed in the right direction”. He said after the Players: “After the first round, my expectations sort of went sky high because I was like, ‘Oh, I think I’ve figured it out’. Then the last three days were a little bit more of a struggle. I made enough birdies – it’s just a matter of getting rid of the bad stuff.”

  • This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up the Daily Express editorial research. A Daily Express editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors here



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