In the past few months, the sports media (particularly those people focusing on golf) have been fawning over golf agent Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler. The Managing Director of International Sports Management (ISM) represents Darren Clarke, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, and used to represent U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy. The loss of McIlroy is particularly tough for Chandler considering the fact that Ernie Els also recently decided to part ways with ISM.
Last week, McIlroy parted ways with Chandler and ISM, choosing to sign with Conor Ridge of Horizon Sports Management. Chandler had been representing McIlroy for roughly four years prior to the split. Ridge mortgaged his home six years ago in order to find the capital to start Horizon Sports, located in Dublin, Ireland. Now he and his company represent one of the hottest names in the game of golf.
Why did McIlroy leave Chandler? Some believe that McIlroy’s strong relationship with Horizon client Graeme McDowell influenced McIlroy’s change. McDowell was also represented by Chandler prior to linking up with Ridge of Horizon. Others think that McIlroy’s girlfriend, tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, had something to do with the switch.