Graeme McDowell admits partnership with Rory McIlroy has run its course
The Ryder Cup pairings have yet to be announced but one thing is certain: Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell won't be one of them.
McDowell ended all speculation about that yesterday during an emotional press conference, when he all but admitted that fellow Ulsterman McIlroy has outgrown him as a Ryder Cup partner.
G-Mac used to be a mentor to the younger McIlroy and, as a recently-crowned US Open champion, guided the younger golfer through the 2010 triumph at Celtic Manor.
But McIlroy has won four Majors since then, and is the current world number one; that, according to McDowell, has changed everything with regard to their partnership.
The pair's close relationship has also been tested by a legal wrangle with their former management company, but McDowell, 35, insisted a split would be for golfing reasons.
"The older brother, younger brother thing that we had is not the same any more," he said.
"He is a four-time major winner and the world number one. The dynamic between the two of us may have changed forever – and maybe I need that leadership role."
McDowell said that although the ongoing court case strained his relationship with McIlroy, the pair are still good friends.