Former manager believes McIlroy could shock the golf world and sign with LIV

Bernie McGuire

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Once vehement LIV Golf opponent Rory McIlroy could very well shock the golf world to the core and announce his signing with the breakaway league.

That’s the view of McIlroy’s former manager, Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler.

Chandler’s International Sports Management (ISM) managed McIlroy from the time he turned professional in late 2007 and for four years till October, 2011 when McIlroy appointed good friend Sean O’Flaherty to manage his business affairs.

And while McIlroy has been opposed to all things LIV, including being a virtual mouthpiece for the PGA Tour in all matters against LIV, we have seen and heard in recent months, a softening of the four-time Major winner’s view of the Saudi-backed competition.

This is been very much the case also since McIlroy stepped-down from the Players Advisory Committee.

So much so, the now 70-year-old Chandler says McIlroy has “performed the most unbelievable 180 turn” in his view of LIV.

“I was alright with Rory, I mean as history has shown now Rory has got an opinion and he will tell you what his opinion is, and he is quite happy to apologise that he’s got it wrong, which he does many times,” said Chandler speaking to Golf Magic.

“Right at the moment he is performing the most unbelievable 180 turn isn’t he, it’s just unbelievable!

“Suddenly, you’ve got this 80-man world tour that is his idea, well that is what Greg Norman was trying to do in 1995, that is exactly what he was doing!

“Rory has got this great idea that it’s the Champions League of golf, and he’s right, that is what should happen, but it’s interesting that he thinks this is a new idea.”

And Chandler has also been speaking with Bunkered Magazine, and suggesting that McIlroy would command around £750m should he sign with LIV.

“Rory is of the ilk that he’ll say something because he likes to have an opinion but he’s quite happy to apologise for it and that’s what he’s done”, said Chandler.

“If you were being cynical, you might say he’s going to sign for about £750million in a month’s time with LIV because he’s paving the way that LIV’s okay now, whereas it wasn’t.

“Who knows? He doesn’t need £750m but it’s odd what he’s done and I’m sure it’s a possibility. If he does it or not, I don’t know, but if Rahm can do it, most guys can do it.

“I think number one, there’s a 10% possibility he’s favouring his way to sign for LIV, but he realises that the whole bickering and fighting is no good for golf. The man in the street must find it appalling the sums of money being spoken.”

Chandler, and who managed McIlroy through his first four of now 15 appearances at Augusta National, and including his shock final round in 2011, says he’s still believes McIlroy can win the Masters and that it could be this year given McIlroy’s seemingly present ‘uncluttered mind’.

Of course, it was a some 10 months and the week after the 2023 Masters, that Chandler lambasted McIlroy for conducting an on-course TV interview while competing at Augusta National declaring you would never see Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods agree to such a request.

Chandler’s latest comments are a little more complimentary and somewhat sympathetic.

“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”, said Chandler to Golf Magic.

“That is The Masters for you. He could stand on 13 and whip it round the corner easier than anybody, and on 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 is such a good player, to me the most exciting player to watch, 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.”




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