“McIlroy looks disinterested – Tiger and Nicklaus would never have sacrificed a year of their careers like he did”

Speaking ahead of the 50th Players Championship, agent Chubby Chandler questions Rory’s love for the game and says the PGA Tour is “devoid of superstars.”

Not known for holding back, Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler lived up to his reputation in a frank interview with BetIdeas in which he gave his two cents worth on McIlroy’s struggles, the personality-lacking PGA Tour, and the “Jimmy No-names” world rankings.

On the eve of the PGA Tour’s flagship event at TPC Sawgrass, the International Sports Management (ISM) director took aim at the PGA Tour and its superstars, which only hours earlier was being heralded by its commissioner as “the greatest in the world.”

Andrew 'Chubby' Chandler is the managing director of International Sports Management (ISM).

Commenting on the recent form of his ex-client, Chubby said: “Rory looks disinterested to me. He doesn’t look sharp. He looks like he is finding the game a grind.

“There is no spark in his eyes, no twinkle. He had about an hour and a half on Saturday afternoon where he was like the old Rory, but you know that bouncy step he has when he’s playing well, it’s not there and I’m sure that year out of his life, or 18 months, took its toll.”

The observations specifically target Rory’s role “front and center” in the Full Swing Netflix docuseries, which Chubby says is something “you’d never have got Nicklaus or Tiger doing.”

The latest series follows McIlroy, dejected with his swing and coming to terms with the betrayal he feels as news breaks of the shock merger between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

“Either he was getting well paid for it or he liked seeing his quotes up in lights all the time. And for the sake of fighting for the PGA Tour – he’s not even American,” Chubby added.

Consecutive T21 finishes at the Cognizant Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational over the past fortnight are further red flags for Chubby that the current World No.2 is some way off getting back to his Major winning days.

“Those are two nice events for him. It’s worrying. It will be interesting to see how fired up he gets this week.”

Rory McIlroy could only manage a T21 finish at The Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Turning his attention to the wider player roster, Chubby described the dearth of superstars as being a “huge problem,” along with the “stuffy country club traditions” of the PGA Tour.

“The game mustn’t be too correct, otherwise nobody wants to watch it. Scottie Scheffler is fantastic, but how much of Scottie Scheffler will you want to watch?

“Rahm was great, and I love the way he can now stand in the middle of the green and say ‘F***’, and nobody even mentions it. Tiger could give it the odd ‘F***’ as well, which made him watchable, seeing him get fired up.”

LIV’s “men behaving badly” act is exactly what audiences want to see continued Chubby, who in addition to Scheffler, reeled off the talents of Spieth, Fowler, and Schauffele as too “squeaky” to engage fans in the same way as rebels from the breakaway tour.

“Jordan Spieth is a lovely lad, but he’s Jordan Spieth. Ricky Fowler, a great lad, but very squeaky isn’t he? I don’t know what the sport does because who is coming along who is going to make it any different? 

“John Daly is probably five years out of being a LIV player. If it had come along five years ago he’d have been just what they were looking for.”

Chubby said the likes of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler are

Weighing in on the debacle surrounding the integrity of golf’s world rankings and how the PGA Tour’s TV revenue is calculated, Chubby was equally forthright.

“The money the PGA Tour gets from TV fees is based on weight of field from the world rankings. Well, their weighted field has gone up because they got rid of 20 players, it’s not gone down it’s gone up.”

“All those LIV players have been replaced by people, Jimmy No-names. The PGA Tour has still got all these guys in the world rankings, but they’ve got rid of the non-Americans. How can you have that? You can’t have world rankings that favor the Americans, which is what it has done the last few years.”

Torque GC’s Joaquin Niemann is undoubtedly up there with the very best in the game at the moment. The Chilean sits atop LIV’s 2024 standings, yet sits 80th in the OWGRs. LIV’s champion from 2023, Talor Gooch bearly squeezes inside the top 500!

Chubby’s comments compound a growing acknowledgment that the integrity of the world ranking system is nearing redundancy. Even Greg Norman has given up the pursuit of OGWR points which tells you everything you need to know about their perceived value in golf’s fractured marketplace.

SUBSCRIBE TO TODAY’S GOLFER: Print and Digital access, discounts and rewards!

About the author

Ross Tugwood is a Golf Equipment Writer for Today's Golfer.

Ross Tugwood

Senior Digital Writer

Ross Tugwood is a golf equipment writer for todays-golfer.com, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation.

Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.

He has post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.