T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Rory McIlroy announces new management structure
It's been one of golf's worst kept secrets, but the details are finally official -- the world's No. 6-ranked player, Rory McIlroy, has left agent Conor Ridge's Horizon Sports Management to start his own business, Rory McIlroy Incorporated.
The new structure was revealed on McIlroy's website, www.rorymcilroyinc.com, Friday morning.
Here are the details:
Rory McIlroy today (27th September '13) confirmed he has terminated his contract with Horizon Sports Management and that the details of the termination are in the hands of a legal team led by A&L Goodbody in Dublin, Ireland.
The golfer’s business interests will from now on be managed by Rory McIlroy Incorporated. CEO of RMI will be Donal Casey, an actuary by profession with many years of CEO experience.
The Rory Foundation for charity will be run by Barry Funston, a business leader and longtime friend of the McIlroy family. Both men will serve on the RMI Board, together with Gerry McIlroy.
Media relations for the golfer and his management company will be handled by a team from The Communications Clinic, led by Terry Prone.
The 2013 season proved to be the most tumultuous of McIlroy's professional career yet. Riding high off his second major championship victory in two years at the 2012 PGA Championship, McIlroy had soared to the No. 1 ranking and had high expectations for 2013.
In the offseason, McIlroy switched equipment brands, which led to the demise of many rising stars before him.
Whether or not the equipment was the singular reason for McIlroy's struggles in 2013, we'll likely never know. He did admit there was a transition period, however, and that certainly showed in his results -- zero wins and five top-10 finishes in 16 starts on the PGA Tour. Just a year earlier, McIlroy won four times in 16 starts, including the PGA Championship.
With McIlroy's rise to fame came many more sponsor commitments that had him globetrotting.
McIlroy's decision to start up his own management team -- with a heavy influence from his father, Gerry -- seemed to be a long time coming.
In 2011 after leaving the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda, McIlroy told then manager Andrew "Chubby" Chandler that he would be leaving Chandler's International Sports Management (ISM) to join Ridge. The relationship with Ridge didn't last long.
This move for McIlroy is expected to give the two-time major champion more control over his career and commitments.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.