Rory McIlroy splits with Horizon

Updated: September 27, 2013, 12:04 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

Rory McIlroy made official on Friday what had been in the works for months -- a change in his management company.

McIlroy, who began the 2013 season ranked No. 1 in the world but slipped to sixth after a winless year, has formed his own company, Rory McIlroy Inc., meaning a split from Dublin-based Horizon Sports after less than two years.

Horizon's Conor Ridge had not been handling McIlroy's affairs for months as the two sides worked through legal issues. Horizon had negotiated McIroy's multimillion-dollar endorsement deal with Nike, which he signed at the beginning of the year.

Not much went right after that, as McIlroy struggled with his game and the new equipment and failed to build on a five-victory 2012 that saw him win his second major championship at the PGA.

Adding to the difficulties were the stories that began to emerge in May that McIlroy was leaving Horizon. In the fall of 2011, McIlroy left England-based International Sports Management to much fanfare. Former European Tour player Andrew "Chubby'' Chandler at the time represented three of the four major champions that year -- McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel and Darren Clarke.

"Since October 2011, Horizon has achieved exceptional results for Rory in realizing his commercial objectives," Horizon said in a statement. "Under Horizon's management, Rory has signed some of the most lucrative endorsements in sports history."

Horizon also noted that the current management contract has a number of years left and that the matter is now in the hands of legal advisors.

According to the new company's website, McIlroy's father, Gerry, will serve on the board of directors.

McIlroy failed to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta. He will resume his schedule next month in Asia.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

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