Rory McIlroy says he remains "very close" to the man he dropped as his manager last month and insists there was "nothing personal at all" in the move that stunned golf.
McIlroy told Andrew "Chubby" Chandler", head of International Sports Management, he was leaving prior to last week's Shanghai Masters, where he then scooped the biggest first prize in the sport - £1.25million - after a play-off with American Anthony Kim.
The US Open champion told the European Tour website: "For four years I felt Chubby was the best guy and ISM were fantastic for me, but sometimes to progress you need to have a fresh view on things. Chubby's been there for me since day one and it was very difficult for me. I remain very close to him - it was a purely business decision and nothing personal."
On the eve of this week's WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, McIlroy added: "It's a decision I didn't take lightly. I thought long and hard about it and had a lot of chats with my mum and dad. Sometimes to go forward in your career you just need to make decisions."
Last week's event did not count towards the European money list, but this week's world championship does and, with world number one Luke Donald pulling out to await the birth of his second daughter, McIlroy can cut his lead at the top from £1.12million to £404,000.
The 22-year-old still has the Hong Kong Open on December 1-4 and the following week's Dubai World Championship to come, but Donald will be back for the second of those.