Lee Westwood stays mum on split with 'Chubby' Chandler

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Lee Westwood stays mum on split with 'Chubby' Chandler

PGA Tour

Lee Westwood stays mum on split with 'Chubby' Chandler

SOUTHPORT, England – Lee Westwood steadfastly refused to comment on his split from long-time manager Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, despite the buzz around the 146th Open Championship about the end of their relationship.

Westwood had been with Chandler and his International Sports Management group since he turned professional in 1993. In that time, Westwood has won 23 European Tour titles while Chandler handled Westwood’s business affairs. Yet news broke in last week’s Daily Telegraph that Westwood had decided to break away from Chandler, which Chandler confirmed.

Westwood is set to join the International Management Group, but refused to comment on that even though IMG agents arranged for journalists to speak to Westwood following his Monday practice round for the Open Championship.

“It’s a personal matter and I can’t comment on it,” was Westwood’s mantra over a 20-minute chat with journalists.

Chandler admitted to the Press Association last week that Westwood had indeed left the group. “Lee’s decided to go down a different path,” Chandler said.

Asked if there was any truth about legal issues concerning the split, Westwood and Chandler have both refused to comment.

The split arguably couldn’t come at a worse time for Westwood as he tries to win his first major championship, but the 44-year-old is treating this week like any other.

“I’m not unsettled,” Westwood said. “I’m pleased with where my swing is. I’m pleased with how I’m putting, short game’s good and I’m coming back to a golf course I love playing. I’ve played well along this coast before and I’m looking forward to this week.”

When pressed one final time on the split and joining IMG, Westwood said: “Who’s bringing IMG up? Not me?

“That’s exactly what they are: rumors. There are always going to be rumors. People like to make up stories and come to the wrong conclusion. It’s unavoidable in any walk of life. You can’t do anything to quash them.”

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