Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Ruthless Rory McIlroy to dump management in favour of family

Rory McIlroy with parents Rosie and Gerry
Rory McIlroy with parents Rosie and Gerry
Rory McIlroy alongside his parents Rosie and Gerry
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 25: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland is congratulated by his father Gerry McIlroy after his win during the final round of the 2012 DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 25, 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy hits his second shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2013 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland talks with his coach Michael Bannon during the pro am of the Honda Classic at PGA National on February 27, 2013 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 09: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from the 18th tee during round one of THE PLAYERS Championship at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 9, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy lines up a shot on the second green with his caddie JP Fitzgerald during the third round of the 2013 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 13, 2013
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlrory is in contention for the Wells Fargo Championship (AP)

In a sensational mid-season move, Rory McIlroy is planning to leave Horizon Sports and set up his own management company, made up of some friends, family and close confidants.

The Ulsterman’s father Gerry is expected to play a prominent role in the new operation.

Just over 18 months ago, McIlroy, one of world sport's hottest properties, stunned golf by quitting the giant International Sports Management, run by Chubby Chandler, and joining Horizon, a Dublin firm with global ambitions.

McIlroy's management team at Horizon have been taken aback by this latest development in the ever-eventful career of Irish golf's charismatic world No 2. However, they are remaining tight-lipped pending further discussions with McIlroy, whose management contract at Horizon has a number of years to run.

Professional golf circles have been rife with speculation about McIlroy's plans to set up his own management structure, but Horizon boss Conor Ridge declined to comment on the matter or answer any questions.

“We simply do not comment on industry rumours or speculation,” he insisted. “Horizon Sports Management always has and always will give first priority to the confidentiality of its clients.”

When approached by reporters at The Players Championship in Florida last week, McIlroy said he was still with Horizon and firmly dismissed any further questions on the matter. He could not be contacted yesterday.

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