Rory McIlroy's former agent admits he's worried: "No spark in his eyes"

Rory McIlroy's former agent believes the four-time major champion has fallen out of love with the game following a lacklustre start to the PGA Tour season. 

Rory McIlroy's former agent admits he's worried: "No spark in his eyes"
Rory McIlroy's former agent admits he's worried: "No spark in his eyes"

Rory McIlroy's former agent, Andrew "Chubby" Chandler, has claimed the Northern Irishman has lost the "spark in his eyes" following disappointment at Bay Hill.

Chandler was McIlroy's agent until 2011 when the two went their separate ways under acrimonious circumstances.  

Since then, the golf mega agent has been outspoken in his views regarding McIlroy's progress in the professional game, and in a recent interview, highlighted how he believes the four-time major champion appears to have lost his love for the game. 

McIlroy endured a frustrating outing at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational and even resorted to a series of rare physical outbursts that saw a green and tee box feel the full force of his anger.


Despite getting his year off to a hot start in Dubai, McIlroy has struggled to find his best form on the PGA Tour.

He has failed to register a top-10 finish on the American circuit so far in 2024.

His best result came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he dropped out of contention with a rough 76 on Sunday to finish tied for 21st.

In a recent interview, Chandler revealed he believes McIlroy has been cutting a disinterested figure in 2024.

He said:

"Rory looks disinterested to me. He doesn’t look sharp.
"It looks to me at the moment that last year took an awful lot out of him and suddenly he got let down and he’s finding it hard to get back up again.
"That’s what it looks like to me. There is no spark in his eyes, no twinkle. He had about an hour and a half on the Saturday afternoon where he was like the old Rory, but you know that bouncy step he has when he’s playing well, it’s not there and I’m sure that year out of his life, or 18 months, took its toll.
"And don’t forget with Rory, he’s got a lot of cash. He and Tiger have got billions and the rest haven’t. I can’t imagine having a billion dollars and playing as hard as he does.
"He looks like he is finding the game a grind. Last week he wasn’t there for it at PGA National, he wasn’t there for it at the Arnold Palmer, those are two nice events for him. It’s worrying. It will be interesting to see how fired up he gets this week."

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Chandler went on to criticise McIlroy's involvement in Netflix's golf docu-series Full Swing and claimed it's not the kind of thing Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus would have done in their day.

He added: "Rory was front and centre of Full Swing. I don’t see how he couldn’t see that was happening to him. Either he was getting well paid for it or he liked seeing his quotes up in lights all the time because you’d never have got Nicklaus or Tiger doing it.

"They would never have sacrificed a year of their lives, he’s playing not as well as they can do, for the sake of fighting for the PGA Tour - and he’s not even American."

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Chandler was speaking in association with BetIdeas

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