Rory McIlroy is a golfing prodigy but he has been making the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons.
His meteoric rise to world number one has been well documented and his affiliation with club and ball manufacturer Titleist has without doubt been a major factor behind his success.
It then begs the question why he has turned his back on Titleist and defected to rival manufactures Nike. It is clearly obvious that Nike made an offer he could not refuse with a lucrative deal worth over £150 million over the next 10 years, but at the tender age of 23 years of age he already has a wealth we could only dream off and I believe his decision is ill-conceived and asks the question “why mend something that isn’t broken?”.
The new partnership with Nike could not have got off to a worse start, seeing him miss the cut in his first event and subsequently walking off the course after nine holes in his second event. I hope he will weather this storm but I hasten to compare it to when Ian Woosnam was on top of the world, playing some of the best golf I have ever watched. He similarly moved his allegiance from Dunlop Maxfli to new kids on the block and unknown Japanese manufacturer Maruman. Woosnam did not settle with these new clubs and he was never the same golfer again.
A bad workman never blames his tools but I feel that this change of equipment for Rory may have a similar negative effect on his confidence and will clearly have an unsettling influence on him over the next few months.
Ironically it looks odds on that his world number one spot will soon be taken from him by his fellow Nike stablemate Tiger Woods. Tiger has had his problems and comes in for a lot of criticism but he has always stayed faithful to his equipment and sponsor.