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McIlroy on Chandler: "I hadn't won enough"

On the eve of the biggest officially sanctioned tournament in Asia, US Open champion Rory McIlroy was not simply answering questions on his prospects at the HSBC Champions tournament, but dealing with the fallout of his split from super-agent Andrew “Chubby Chandler”.

"It's the toughest conversation to sit down with a person who's been there for you the last 10 years and tell him you want to change things up a little bit," McIlroy said.

"It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life."

Just four months after his record-setting win in the U.S. Open, the 22-year-old McIlroy surprised those around him last month by announcing he was leaving Chandler’s International Sports Management group, that also boasts world number two Lee Westwood, for Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management.

"Sometimes to go forward in your career, you need to make a decision," McIlroy explained.

"I thought it was a decision I needed to make. I felt like for four years, Chubby was the best guy. But sometimes to progress you need to have a different view and a fresh view of things. It's about me trying to play my best golf. That's all there is to it.

"With a new environment around me, it might enable me to play even better.”

On Tuesday, McIlroy bumped into his former manager on the range at the Sheshan Golf Club and there appeared to be no hard feelings between the two men.

"We've both already moved on," said Chandler. "We shared a laugh and a couple of jokes, had a chat and were fine, just like I knew we would be. I wish Rory nothing but the best."

While McIlroy didn’t give up much, his comments were the most extensive he’d made since the split.

"I was surprised at how much of a big deal was made out of it," McIlroy said.

"These things happen all the time. With me sometimes, it's made into a bigger deal. I just changed management companies, and that's all there is to it. It's not that big of a decision. It's not that big of a deal. We'll still remain friends, and it's always going to be that way."

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