| SOTOGRANDE, Spain
SOTOGRANDE, Spain Oct 26 Graeme McDowell played
no part in world number three Rory McIlroy's decision to change
management teams, the defending Andalucia Masters champion said
U.S. Open winner McIlroy surprised the golfing world last
week by moving from Andrew 'Chubby' Chandler's International
Sports Management (ISM) to Conor Ridge's Horizon stable, who
have McDowell on their books.
"I've heard I'm supposed to have enticed Rory, well I
purposely took a back seat in it all," 2010 U.S. Open champion
McDowell told reporters on the eve of his Andalucia title
defence at Valderrama.
"Rory makes his own decisions and doesn't listen to anybody.
I certainly wasn't going to sway him about what to do with his
career. Even if I could he'd only resent it if it didn't work
McDowell made a similar switch from ISM to Horizon earlier
in his career.
"I went through the same process three or four years ago and
it was very amicable. Rory's split seems pretty amicable as
well," he said of his close friend and fellow Northern Irishman.
"That's life, it's business, not personal. We are one big
travelling circus out here and it pays to get on with each
other," added McDowell.
"I've never known any rifts to be catastrophic between
players and management companies. It's a long career, we're not
going to burn bridges and fall out with people."
McDowell, who has had an indifferent year following his U.S.
Open success, conceded he would now be taking a back seat at
"I've been number one but Rory is now," he said. "I'm happy
about that. I hope he'll drive me on."
Fate has thrown McIlroy and Lee Westwood together in
Thursday's first round at the Shanghai Masters exhibition event
in China -- just days after the world number two called his
Ryder Cup team mate's decision to switch management teams
"It's very ironic," said McDowell. "They'll want to be out
there and beat each other up, obviously from a golf point of
"Bizarre is Lee Westwood's opinion. Perhaps Rory just wants
a different view on things, the way his business life is run off
the golf course.
"It's Rory McIlroy's decision, he's a very smart kid,"
(Editing by Tony Jimenez. To comment on this story:
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