Rory McIlroy's former agent thinks he knows what's holding him back

Rory McIlroy's former agent Chubby Chandler has told GolfMagic what he thinks of the Northern Irishman's chances at the 2024 Masters.

Rory McIlroy's former agent thinks he knows what's holding him back
Rory McIlroy's former agent thinks he knows what's holding him back

Rory McIlroy's former agent Andrew 'Chubby' Chandler has labelled the Northern Irishman's failure to win the Masters 'bizarre'. 

Chandler was McIlroy's first agent and the duo travelled the world together for four years until they split in acrimonious circumstances. 

In 2011, the pair were in a departure lounge at an airport in Bermuda after McIlroy competed in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. 

McIlroy was headed to Istanbul to spend a week with his then-girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki. Chubby was going to Dubai for a holiday. 

But a 22-year-old McIlroy decided to freshen things up by axing Chandler. Chandler's response? "Disappointed and shocked."

"I thought we had a better relationship than that," Chandler said at the time. "But he had his reasons."

McIlroy would go on to join Horizon Sports along with Graeme McDowell. That too ended in tears, a lawsuit and a feud with Shane Lowry. 

Fast-forward 13 years and it is clear Chandler appears to think about McIlroy a lot. It's also true he's asked about McIlroy frequently. 

For example, he took a dim view of McIlroy's U-turn on LIV Golf and Saudi investment in the sport. 

As far as Chandler is concerned, McIlroy's idea for a Champions League style global tour is nothing new. 

LIV's chief executive Greg Norman has been banging the drum about this since the 90s, he said


Rory McIlroy's former agent thinks he knows what's holding him back

"Right at the moment he is performing the most unbelievable 180 turn isn't he," he told GolfMagic. "It's just unbelievable."

Chandler also reckons McIlroy could soon join LIV. It might take a figure close to $1bn to do so, though. 

The 48th Masters is now on the horizon. McIlroy will once again attempt to complete the career grand slam in early April. 

Only Gene Sarazen, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have completed the feat. 

Last year, McIlroy came into Augusta National in supreme form and he later admitted he thought he was going to win. 

But it was another disappointing drive down Magnolia Lane for McIlroy. An opening 72 followed by a 77 saw him miss the cut. 

McIlroy stormed off the property, opting not to talk to reporters. "It sucked," McIlroy later said when he re-surfaced. 

The four-time major champion is now 34 years old. It's arguable that he's still on the right side of his prime. 

But with each passing year the expectation grows. And McIlroy knows it. 

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So what does Chandler make of McIlroy's Masters woes?

"I always thought from the start the one major Rory would win would be the Masters because he hits a high, loopy draw and hits it miles," he said. 

"That is the Masters for you. He could stand on 13 and whip it round the corner easier than anybody, 14 he could hold it up the left-hand side.

"There are so many draw shots at Augusta, you just thought he was going to do it.

"I think the meltdown in 2011 when he had the bad back nine there, I think that has obviously left a scar.

"He's had a couple of other near-misses, which probably also leaves a scar.

"It's just bizarre the Masters is the one he can't win and is the one he's finding hardest to win.

"I think maybe this year he has got as good a chance as he has had for a long time.

"Hopefully he has got his mind uncluttered and he has got decent form."

Rory McIlroy's former agent thinks he knows what's holding him back

Chandler also reckons that there might be another problem. 

"Rory is such a good player, to me the most exciting player to watch," he added. 

"It seems bizarre that some of the naturalness out of his game has gone.

"To me he looks really awkward when he tries to play a cut and he tries to hold up.

"If he goes back to the big, strong draw, that is obviously okay for Augusta, so who knows.

"He might not be the best wedge player today, but he will kill it."

For his part, McIlroy has conceded his career will be filled with regret if he never got to slip on the green jacket and dine with past champions. 

In January, he revealed too much leaderboard watching has affected him. 

He also believes in years past he has attempted to hit shots he wouldn't normally take on. 

The simple reason? Pressure. "I'm completely open about that," McIlroy said. "I think I need to embrace it rather than shutting away from it."

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Chandler was speaking in association with

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