Rory McIlroy branded a ‘mouthpiece of the PGA Tour’ by former agent following Masters collapse
Rory McIlroy has been branded a “mouthpiece of the PGA Tour” by his former agent Chubby Chandler.
The 33-year-old Northern Irishman pulled out of this week’s RBC Heritage – a decision that cost him $3million – after he missed the cut at last week’s Masters in Augusta as another bid to complete the Grand Slam failed.
And Chandler, who McIlroy split from in 2011 after four years – claims that the four-time Major winner’s life has become “too cluttered” by off-course distractions.
“If you were a betting man you would probably bet against him winning. He has made winning the grand slam [all four majors] a bigger thing in his head than it actually is,” Chandler told the UK’s i publication.
“He is not really driven by number of wins or number of majors per se, but he seems to be driven by wanting to win the grand slam. It’s a massive mental block and it’s getting harder and harder. Every time he gets there he has the pressure from everyone else, but also from himself.
“To me he has got carried away as mouthpiece of the PGA Tour. He is doing things he shouldn’t be doing and opening his mouth too often. The interview on the fairway [at the Masters], absolutely brilliant TV but not good for Rory McIlroy. You can’t be having a chat with a guy in the commentary box about the day and the way he is playing, or whatever, then get over a wedge and give it 100 per cent. You would never have got [Jack] Nicklaus doing it. You would never have got Tiger [Woods] doing it."
McIlroy has become the face of the PGA Tour in the on-going drama with LIV Golf and he controversially gave a mid-round interview on the first day of the Masters. According to Chandler, he needs to revert to being just a carefree golfer and “and just trust his talent”.
“If you could see into his head back in the days when he was flying around Augusta there was nothing in there other than hitting a golf ball. Now he has commitments with PGA Tour, where he has been groomed as a political figurehead, with TV, with half a dozen really big sponsors. And they take up time. He now has Workday [software company]. Workday put an add on TV, that will take a day of his time. That clutter manifests itself on the course. He needs to get away from a lot of that, and just trust his talent.”
Meanwhile, McIlroy’s decision to skip this week’s RBC Heritage has cost him a whopping $3million and his fellow stars hope the PGA Tour comes clean on the nature of the fine.
According to SI.com, McIlroy’s $3m fine got the attention of fellow pros Rickie Fowler and Xander Schuaffele, who hope to hear from the exact details from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
“I feel like Rory was leading the charge on the changes that have been made and he helped make the rules,” said Joel Dahmen, who was just two shots behind leader Viktor Hovland after an opening 66 in the RBC Heritage.
“He knew what the rules were. So, he knew what was coming. He also has so much money, he doesn't care about $3m.”
Schauffele found McIlroy’s absence from Harbour Town ironic considering his role in setting the new rules.
“Rules are the rules,” Schauffele told Sports Illustrated. “So, I mean, for the most part, a lot of what he wanted is what's happening. And the irony is that he's not here.”
As the PGA Tour does not reveal fines or suspensions, it is unknown if McIlroy’s $3million hit is the biggest handed down to a player.
“It doesn't matter who you are, that's a ton of money,” Justin Thomas told SI.com. “All of us knew going into the year what the situation was and what we had to do to get extra X or Y and for him Y is a lot in this situation, finishing second (in the PIP).
“So, it wasn't a surprise to him or any of us, it just was kind of where he ended up in the rankings and not playing this week is I guess a consequence.”
Schauffele hopes PGA Tour commissioner Monahan explains McIlroy’s situation to the membership.
“It's a lot of money,” Schauffele said. “It’s a big deal. A lot of people want to know what's going on.”
Rickie Fowler agreed transparency was important.
“I think that's a big thing that's been talked about for the last year, is having more transparency and just good communication between players the tour,” Fowler said.
“I think that includes you (the media) as well. And ultimately, the more transparency and the more everyone's on the same page, the better.”