Andrew Chandler, director of sports management firm ISM and manager of the last two major tournament winners, believes that he found the reason why three golfers from small Northern Ireland have captured victories in three major tournaments in over a year.
Besides managing U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy, British Open winner Darren Clarke and 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell (all from Northern Ireland), retired golfer Chandler conducts the affairs of South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen who won the U.S. Masters and the British Open last year.
Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, 58 explains this success story by the South African connection. He thinks that Irish and South African golfers are tough because of the hard time their counties had, including racial segregation and bans on playing golf for South Africans. Northern Ireland has gone through crises comparable to that experienced by South Africa.
According to Chandler’s theory, South African and Irish golfers are tougher than players from other countries because of their origin. The manager thinks that it is no coincidence that two South Africans and two Northern Irishmen have won the last four major tournaments out of five.
Moreover, apparently, the champions feel this connection as well. Though not everybody knows it, British Open winner Darren practiced together with McIlroy and then with Louis and Charl before the British Open. The golfers had meals together all week and felt like they have known each other for years.