The following is a guest contribution from Andrew Harmes, a JD candidate of the Class of 2016 at Osgoode Hall Law School.
ISM Sports, the international sports agency led by CEO Andrew Chandler – famously known in golf circles simply by the moniker ‘Chubby’ – has signed Canadian golfer Corey Conners as the agency looks to further establish itself in the North American market.
Conners, the top-ranked Canadian male amateur and 2014 US Amateur finalist, is coming off competing in the World Amateur Team Championships where his four rounds in the 60’s helped Canada to a second place finish. By virtue of his impressive showing at the US Amateur, Conners has earned an exemption into next year’s US Open and a likely invitation to the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National. These major championship exemptions are conditional on Conners retaining amateur status, something he is expected to do, playing in a combination of top-level amateur and tour events before turning professional later in the 2015 season.
In an ISM release, Conners expressed the excitement that comes with joining an international agency boasting a talent division that includes major championship winners such as Darren Clarke and Louis Oosthuizen, as well as rising stars such as Seung-Yul Noh and Peter Uihlein. Conners explained that “the way ISM have nurtured the careers of young golfers and moulded them into winners is very impressive.” ISM also notably oversaw the management of Rory McIlroy’s career as he transitioned into the professional ranks, through to his first major championship victory at the 2011 US Open.
Meanwhile for ISM, the signing can be seen as being representative of a movement to expand the agency’s footprint in North America. Conners is the first Canadian to sign with ISM and is one of only a few players under ISM’s banner that are either native to North America, or compete there full-time on the PGA TOUR or one of its feeder circuits. Chandler commented that ISM is “making great strides in North America and the arrival of Corey is further evidence of that.”
Earlier in 2014 ISM took significant steps in furthering their North American interests when they signed Chesson Hadley, the agency’s first North American born player competing full-time on the PGA TOUR. When the signing was announced Hadley was coming off of a season in which he won the Web.com Tour Championship and finished third on the season long money list. Hadley had an impressive rookie PGA TOUR season under the direction of ISM, winning the Puerto Rico Open and finishing with $1,703,316 in earnings.
Nick Mullen serves as Director of Player Management North America for ISM and is stationed out of Old Palm Golf Club, a private facility in Florida that serves as the North American headquarters for ISM’s leading European-based players.