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I’d nothing to do with Rory McIlroy’s move, says Graeme McDowell

By Mark Garrod

Graeme McDowell last night insisted he played no part in Rory McIlroy's shock decision to dispense with his manager Chubby Chandler.

Last week Ulster’s US Open Champion severed his ties with Chandler’s management group. From now on he will be handled by the Dublin-based Horizon — who just happen to look after the interests of his best friend and fellow Ulsterman McDowell (pictured).

But G-Mac, in Spain to defend his Andalucia Masters title, said: “I'd strongly resent any suggestion that I in some way enticed Rory to join Horizon.

“People who accuse me of enticing Rory clearly don't know me very well and don't know him very well either.

“He's a very intelligent young man. He's very headstrong and impulsive. He makes his own decisions and really never was going to listen to me.”

He added: “I would never give Rory the big sell on Horizon. All I told him was that I was there for him as a neutral sounding-board. I purposely took a back seat and I know in my heart that I've done that well and honestly.

“So I can look Chubby in the eye and know I've done him no wrong. It's business and Rory has made a business decision. There's nothing personal about it.”

McDowell admits he was “semi-surprised” by McIlroy's decision to link up with Horizon, saying: “Rory has a huge global profile. He's so good, he's of Tiger-esque potential in terms of what he can do for world golf.

“I thought he'd go with one of the biggies, like IMG or CAA, to manage his business. But big doesn't necessarily mean better.”

Ironically, McIlroy tees off today in the Shanghai Masters with Lee Westwood — a former Chandler stablemate.

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