Rory McIlroy talks about his relationship with Graeme McDowell

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, still friends but not as close. (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, still friends. (Getty Images)

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I don't think it's any big secret that the relationship between Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell has undergone a bit of awkwardness in recent years but earlier this week McIlroy addressed the issue publicly.

He told the Scotsman he's still tight with McDowell.

"I am still as close to him (McDowell)," said McIlroy. "There’s obviously been a few things that have gone on that have strained the relationship, but I still talk to him regularly and catch up with him."

"He has stayed out of everything as much as he can and there’s no ill feeling towards him in any way from my side. He’s been one of my best friends on Tour and showed me the ropes. I will always be grateful for what he’s done and for going out of his way to make me feel comfortable out here."

The "stayed out of everything" comment is a reference to the fact that McIlroy and McDowell used to be under the same management umbrella before McIlroy went through an ugly split that ended (or is ending) in court.

"At times it’s awkward because he’s with someone (Horizon Sports Management) but, at the end of the day, we are the same two people we were. I would love to tee it up with GMac in the Ryder Cup and (European captain) Paul McGinley knows that."

I think McIlroy is being totally genuine here and I would be stunned if whatever this rift is affects who McGinley picks for the European team in the Ryder Cup.

I also sort of feel bad for McIlroy because you know if he had to do it all over again he would have just started his own management company from the beginning and this mess wouldn't have taken place.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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