Seeing Red: Color Of McIlroy's Shirts On Sunday Could Say A Lot About New Nike Deal
The size of the "shadow” Rory McIlroy has cast over Tiger Woods since the announcement that McIlroy has joined the Nike Golf roster “will be revealed in Abu Dhabi on Sunday should the company’s new signing opt for a red shirt,” according to Kevin Garside of the London INDEPENDENT. Red is the “power colour that Woods made his own during the years of plunder.” Nike issues its clients “four shirts for the week and it is understood that only one player is allowed to make red his Sunday best if Woods is in the field.” But McIlroy “claimed to be ignorant of any stipulation and said that he didn’t care what colour he wore on Sundays.” McIlroy said, “I’ve worn red before. I’m not saying that is the colour I want to play in on the last day. I’d rather just wear something that goes with green” (London INDEPENDENT, 1/16). McIlroy occasionally worn red shirts during the final round of tournaments, notably during last year's PGA Championship, which he won by eight strokes (THE DAILY).
KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE...: The Nike ad featuring McIlroy and Woods formally debuts today, and the subject of the blossoming friendship between the two was tackled on ESPN's "Around The Horn" yesterday. Columnist Kevin Blackistone said Nike is selling them as friends in the ad, though the Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said Nike is selling them as "blood brothers." Ryan: "What’s interesting about this is it’s Tiger’s first public admission of mortality. He’s acknowledging this kid into the club in a way he never would with Phil, with Duval or Vijay Singh or anybody else who temporarily challenged him in the last 15 years.” ESPN’s J.A. Adande said, “You know better. You know Tiger doesn’t have any friends on the Tour. Who do you see him palling around with, especially now that Mark O’Meara is gone?" (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 1/15). GOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard wrote defining their relationship "is not that simple," as when it "comes to the game's alpha and omega no one is exactly sure of the extent of their friendship." With the possible exception of O'Meara and John Cook, Woods "never before in his now 17-year professional career has ... let someone in so publicly." People with "suspicious minds have suggested the Rory-Tiger relationship is born from mutual monetary gain," but that seems "to be an over simplification at best and a gross misunderstanding at worst" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 1/15).
A TASTE OF HIS OWN MEDICINE: GOLFWEEK's Alistair Tait reported Woods "got a taste of what it's like to be badgered about another player" when he met with the media in advance of this weekend's event in Abu Dhabi. Fifteen of the 20 questions Woods "received from the world's media ... were about McIlroy." Conversely, McIlroy only had to deal with six questions about Woods among the 32 asked (GOLFWEEK.com, 1/15).