Success will not spoil him, says McIlroy agent
Published 21/06/2011 | 06:56
The Tiger Woods era is over, here comes the Rory McIlroy era. As America digested the impact of the young player's runaway triumph at the US Open, many were ready to move on from Woods and his grotesque infidelities that in part stained the name of golf.
As one leading American US golf writer said late on Sunday: "I couldn't give a **** if I never heard the name Tiger friggin' Woods again."
It was rather like that great quote from Rolling Stone Keith Richards about Chuck Berry. "I admire his work but I couldn't warm to him if I was cremated next to him." Right now, a lot of people feel that way about the discredited Woods. So world golf was looking out for a clean- cut, humble, genius of a player with an engaging smile and delightful, uncomplicated personality.
Well, wouldn't you know it -- along came Rory McIlroy, sauntering jauntily down the fairway, not being brash or arrogant about his annihilation of the entire field and treating his triumph (as he had his tragedies) in the way the great Rudyard Kipling always espoused . . . as twin imposters.
The man who will now ensure McIlroy capitalises on his first golfing major is 58-year-old Andrew 'Chubby' Chandler, a former professional golfer who is managing director of the players' agent company International Sports Management. As McIlroy sat and told the world's media what it felt like to have the US Open trophy in his grasp, Mr Chandler recalled the day he first met the young man.
"He is today the boy I met 10 years ago," he said
"He was 12 and we first met at Darren Clarke's Junior Golf Foundation at Portmarnock Links. We were lucky enough to have him along and made a relationship with him straightaway because he was obviously very good . . . and very nice.
"We met his mum and dad a year after so I have known them nine years. It was one of those great happenings in one's life when that sort of thing occurs because, with a talent like Rory's, you would normally have 10 management companies fighting over him. It didn't happen like that at all.
"We were always in prime position."
The agent is adamant that success won't change McIlroy.
"I don't expect him to change at all. He is a nice guy and he has won.
"Firstly, he is so special because of his golf talent. But his mum and dad have done a fantastic job because they have brought him up brilliantly.
"People might wonder whether we have had to teach him how to handle things, the fuss and attention . . . sort of thing. But we haven't done that at all. He has got that from his mum and dad. There has never been any issue like that."