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“But when we are not on our game, we have a tendency to … I am not going to say make wrong decisions, but we do question everything in our lives what we are doing and sometimes we have to make changes.”

McIlroy signed a long-term deal with Horizon Sports, which stands to earn commission from the length of the recent endorsement deals.

The shake-up is another example of how McIlroy calls the shots.

His split from Chandler and ISM occurred on the flight home from Bermuda for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which McIlroy said was the “hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.” But he shared no details on why he needed to change.

“Sometimes to go forward in your career, you need to make a decision,” McIlroy said in Shanghai after joining Horizon. “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.”

His father, Gerry, was with McIlroy during the Florida swing before heading home to Northern Ireland. McIlroy is selling his home outside Belfast and lives primarily in a house he bought in south Florida, when he’s not traveling to see Caroline Wozniacki.


AP freelance writer Bernie McGuire in Bulgaria contributed to this report.