SBD/July 8, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Faldo, Nicklaus Say McIlroy's Nike Deal, Off-Course Endeavors Having Negative Impact

McIlroy has continued to try different clubs since signing with Nike
CBS' Nick Faldo thinks golfer Rory McIlroy's "slump can be pinned to an equipment change" after he left Acushnet for a deal with Nike, according to Randy King of the ROANOKE TIMES. Faldo said, "Rory very simply messed with a winning formula. He went from rookie of the year to world No. 1 and been through a lot and thought he could start again." He added, "As I said from Day One, I tweeted right away when it was announced that this was a dangerous move. I won't get into all the -- people said, 'Oh, he's so talented, he can adapt.' Well, why should the world No. 1 be adapting to something new? As we discovered six months later, he's busy still trying putters, still trying drivers. It's not as easy" (ROANOKE TIMES, 7/4). Meanwhile, Golf HOFer Jack Nicklaus said that McIlroy's "various off-course pursuits are affecting his on-course performance." Nicklaus cited both the "demands on McIlroy's time as a result of winning two major championships as well as the reported nine-figure endorsement contract he signed with Nike earlier this year." Nicklaus: "He's been sort of doing other things, and now he's back wanting to play golf again, and he's struggling" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 7/3).

IRISH EYES NOT SMILING: In Ireland, Gary Murphy wrote McIlroy is a "pale shadow of himself." His game is "completely out of synch and it's hard to see where his next win is coming from." Murphy: "I strongly believe McIlroy has taken his eye off the ball, not just slightly, but massively, on and off the course. I struggle to understand the rationale behind his proposed split with Horizon Sports Management." It also is "clear he has struggled with his clubs since signing" with Nike (IRISHMIRROR.ie, 7/4).
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