The American college system is delaying the emergence of real golfing talent - that's the view of Andrew 'Chubby' Chandler, the manager of Ireland's 20-year-old wonder-kid Rory McIlroy.
It's a key reason why the kid from Holywood, Northern Ireland turned pro after only a short but stunning amateur career, Chandler told the New York Post.
“There’s no doubt the US college system is holding young players back," said Chandler, a former European Tour pro who launched his own management company.
“Twenty years ago the system was a massive positive but now it’s a negative. Kids now go to college in the US and learn to go out drinking and with girls – and whatever – and it’s a nice experience. But from a golf standpoint, your golf stands still.
“It’s not a coincidence that people like Tiger (Woods) finished college early, Anthony Kim finished early and Sean O’Hair didn’t go at all.
“Think about Rory. He’s got maybe two or three years before he would have left college. He could be No. 1 in the world by then,” said Chandler, founder of International Sports Management, based in Knutsford, Cheshire and which also manages Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Ernie Els as well as cricketers Andrew Flintoff, Michael Vaughan and new sensation Graham Onions.
McIlroy is already a winner of the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, qualified as a pro for the US Masters debut and is ranked among the top 25 players in the world.
US College golf system blasted