Masters Diary: Sir Alex on hand to keep media off McIlroy's back

With clients in his agency of the calibre of Andrew Flintoff, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Michael Vaughan, there are few managers to whom Chubby Chandler should need to defer when it comes to handling sporting superstars. But clearly there is one. Step forward, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Chandler has reportedly been to see the Manchester United manager to seek advice regarding the 19-year-old prodigy Rory McIlroy and that is understandable. Boy wonders are very much the rarity in golf, but when they have emerged, bad decisions have invariably hindered, and in some cases derailed, their progress. In certain respects Justin Rose is an example and then, of course, there is that victim of outrageous over-hype, Michelle Wie.

So who better to turn to in the effort to shield the pup from the glare than the man who so admirably guided fledglings such as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes? McIlroy's uncle, Brian McIlroy, said: "Chubby is friends with Sir Alex and asked him his advice on how to handle all the interest surrounding Rory. Sir Alex said we should try to be open and straightforward with the media – that way there should be less pressure on him."

McIlroy was indeed that on Saturday evening when he explained to the media his part in the bunker rules rumpus which could have led to his qualification after the second round. Chandler stood to the side looking on approvingly as his young prodigy said all the right things. He must have wondered whether it was worth sending McIlroy to see Sir Alex. But, then, if you have an open invite to Carrington you may as well take advantage. Said Fergie: "I've never met the boy, but when I do I will be happy to pass on any help he might think he needs."

Player plays up for the cameras?

Chandler may have his work cut out, trying to keep a lid on the media frenzy after Gary Player described McIlroy's swing as "unbelievable" and "better than Tiger Woods".

The 73-year-old (below) has an agreeable habit of saying exactly what the listener wants to hear and the British and Irish microphones in front of him might just have had something to do with his gushings. "Rory McIlroy, if he goes about it and is managed correctly, could turn out to be the best player in the world in his time," Player said.

"This young man is brilliant. His golf swing is unbelievable and his theory side, his swing, is better than Tiger Woods'. But will he have the body of Tiger Woods? Will this young man go to the gym at six o'clock in the morning? I don't know. Will he have the intensity and all the other things that Tiger has? I don't know."

BBC's much ado about something

As someone who refuses to speak to the BBC, Sir Alex might have an interesting take on the displeasure apparently felt by some of the Rory camp towards the corporation. It was the BBC which first drew attention to the incident in the 18th bunker when McIlroy was accused in some quarters of kicking the sand, an offence that merits a two-shot penalty.

The BBC showed repeated replays and posted the clip on its website and it was this that led the rules committee here to make its interminably lengthy investigations, before accepting McIlroy's explanation that he had, in fact, only "smoothed" the sand. Did the BBC make too much fuss? To be fair, its analyst Sam Torrance comment said at the time that McIlroy should not be penalised.

Gary Lineker, meanwhile, had another take on it, claiming the officials should not take action because "he's only young". Ridiculous. As McIlroy would agree. If he is old enough to be here, he is old enough to be sent home.

Poulter out of tune with Augusta airs

Part of Ian Poulter's pre-round build-up is listening to dance music on his iPod. Not at Augusta it isn't. There the Englishman was, on the practice green in the shadow of the clubhouse, earphones plugged in, drum and bass blaring. It was then that a man in a green jacket walked across, tapped him on the shoulder and signalled to turn off the sounds. Poulter quickly followed the orders, as everyone tends to around here.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice