McIlroy, McDowell frosty over break-up

Rory McIlroy’s with fellow US Open winner and long-time friend, Graeme McDowell could be tested over the opening two rounds of this week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

McDowell surprisingly lifted the lid last week in Bulgaria on McIlroy’s decision to severe a five-year management deal with Horizon Sports Management.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell (Credit: Eoin Clarke/www.golffile.ie)

However neither Horizon’s nor the double Major winner has issued a formal statement confirming this.

A rival management representative predicts it could cost McIlroy upwards of £10m to opt out of the contract he signed some 18 months ago.

But when McIlroy was approached following a practice round ahead of this week’s flagship BMW PGA Championship, he bluntly responded: “Ask G Mac. He knows more than me.”

McDowell expressed his disappointment in losing McIlroy as a stablemate and said: “When we are not on our game we have a tendency to, and I am not going to say make wrong decisions, but we do question everything in our lives what we are doing and sometimes we have to make changes.”

Those changes are expected to see McIlroy’s father, Gerry take over as the head of the McIlroy business empire and also McIlroy’s current Horizon again, Sean O’Flaherty moving to work with him.

However in fairness to McIlroy he was later observed on the practice range congratulating McDowell on last week’s Volvo World Match-Play Championship victory.

Then in a bizarre twist officials released the draw for the opening two rounds of the event with the Northern Ireland duo drawn together alongside Scotland’s Paul Lawrie.

The trio join the nine other ‘Medinah Mircale’ workers from last year’s Ryder Cup all competing this week on Wentworth’s notorious ‘Burma Road’ course.