US Masters champion Graeme McDowell has defended himself in the press after being accused of helping his manager to poach fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy recently switched agencies from Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler’s ISM stable (which also looks after Lee Westwood) to Dublin-based Horizon. It was widely believed that best-friend McDowell may have had something to do with it, perhaps encouraging Rory to sign for Horizon too, but McDowell has played down these reports.

“I’ve heard I’m supposed to have enticed Rory, well I purposely took a back seat in it all,” McDowell said.