Rory McIlroy Starts Own Management Group After Going Winless

Two-time major golf champion Rory McIlroy has formed his own management group after leaving Horizon Sports Management.

It’s the second change in two years for the 24-year-old Northern Irishman. He left International Sports Management for Horizon in October 2011, four months after winning his first major at the U.S. Open.

“The golfer’s business interests will from now on be managed by Rory McIlroy Inc.,” according to a statement on his website.

Donal Casey, an actuary, will be chief executive officer of the group, while Barry Funston, a business executive and longtime friend of the McIlroy family, will run the golfer’s foundation, according to the statement. Both men will serve on the group’s board, along with McIlroy’s father, Gerry.

Horizon said it was disappointed with McIlroy’s decision to end his contract, which has “a number of years to run.”

“Since October 2011, Horizon has achieved exceptional results for Rory in realizing his commercial objectives,” the company said in its own statement. “Under Horizon’s management, Rory has signed some of the most lucrative endorsements in sports history. Rory’s decision to seek a termination of the management contract with Horizon is now regrettably in the hands of legal advisers.”

McIlroy took over the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in March 2012 and captured his second major at the PGA Championship five months later.

In January of this year he signed an agreement to use Nike Inc. equipment after five years with Titleist. The Irish Times said the deal was worth as much as $250 million over 10 years.

McIlroy hasn’t won a tournament on either the U.S. PGA Tour or European Tour in 2013, dropping from first to sixth in the world ranking. His best major finish was a tie for eighth place at the PGA Championship and he failed to qualify for the Tour Championship, the season-ending event on the American tour.

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