Rory McIlroy, Incorporated
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/27/13
Rory McIlroy started this decade in perfectly fine fashion, but 2013 has been a tumultuous and unmitigated disaster. And now, as we hinted back in May, the "Holywood Matinee Idol" has changed management for the second time in as many years:
Rory McIlroy today [27th September ’13] confirmed he has terminated his contract with Horizon Sports Management and that the details of the termination are in the hands of a legal team led by A&L Goodbody in Dublin, Ireland.

The golfer's business interests will from now on be managed by Rory McIlroy Incorporated. CEO of RMI will be Donal Casey, an actuary by profession with many years of CEO experience. The Rory Foundation for charity will be run by Barry Funston, a business leader and longtime friend of the McIlroy family. Both men will serve on the RMI Board, together with Gerry McIlroy.

Media relations for the golfer and his management company will be handled by a team from The Communications Clinic, led by Terry Prone.
McIlroy left Chubby Chandler and International Sports Management only four months after winning the 2011 U.S. Open, moving to Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management. The big reason for the split is that Chandler favors the European Tour more than the PGA Tour here in the United States.

At first, things still seemed rosy; McIlroy won the 2012 PGA Championship, following by the Deutsche Bank and BMW during the FedEx Cup Playoffs. But then, McIlroy made more changes. He cut his ties with Titleist and FootJoy, prompting dire warnings from the likes of Nick Faldo. He also cut ties with Oakley, prompting a lawsuit. In January, to few people's surprise, he signed with Nike.

From there, his game went bad — very quickly.

In a very controversial move, McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic, which he later admitted was the wrong decision. Using his new Nike clubs, McIlroy struggled to a T-25 at the Masters and shot a personal worst 78 at the Memorial Tournament in May. In June, he finished T-41 at the U.S. Open, breaking a club in frustration at one point and prompting an "I told you so" from Nick Faldo — and from thousands of other golf fans who thought that ditching his tried-and-true Titleist clubs was a bad move.

Just weeks later, McIlroy suffered a new low when he shot 79 in the opening round of the Open Championship, ultimately missing the cut. Gary Player (controversially) suggested that part of the problem was Rory's girlfriend, tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki.

To be fair, McIlroy rebounded with a T-8 at the PGA Championship. With his management team presumably stable after another change and his relationship with Wozniacki seemingly stable despite gossip to the contrary, we could speculate that 2014 will go better for the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland. But until he finds some clubs that will help him perform the way he did from 2010 to 2013, a full resurgence very probably will not happen.

This writer will never win a golf tournament, but I have found a set of irons that will help me play much better than my ancient Hogan Edges (even if I can't afford them). The logical (but egotistically painful) thing for McIlroy to do would be to ditch the Nikes and return to the Titleist clubs that served him so well. He can afford it. He can't afford not to.

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Image via Flickr, Tour Pro Golf Clubs

[ comments ]
slimpks1850 says:
I love Nike so it can't be their fault!

Besides, now we have Spieth. We don't need Rory.
Torleif Sorenson says:
slimpks1850: THAT's the spirit!
coojofresh says:
i have a very hard time understanding how so many guys win with nike clubs and he just goes from sugar to s*** that fast. i really do not think it's the clubs. the woman maybe. you see what a woman did to tiger.
bashworth says:
coojofresh, that would be womEn, not woman
golfingbumunderpar64 says:
Nike blows. What he did was like having the love of your life with you and being happy to ditching her for the younger version and she cheats on you and takes all you money. Either way why change what was working?
snkli says:
Rory - will be just fine playing Nike clubs. It was just a year of major changes in his life and he's got to get back to feeling comfortable again.

golfingbumunderpar64: Not only the younger version but the gal who brought a boat load of money with here ...
ChrisW0521 says:
Nike clubs suck. Why would you leave a set of clubs that you were so accustom to for a new brand anyways? You already have enough money that you don't have to worry about the sponsorship. And the woman issue can play a factor. I just know Nike hurt Duval and didn't help Tiger as much as Titleist did. Everyone played better using their previous clubs. And Tiger didn't have a woman ruin his life, it was his decisions to cheat constantly and be a womanizer with his life that landed him in his mess. If you aren't in love with her don't marry her and when you do get married stay faithful.
slimpks1850 says:
It's not Nike. It's the $ Nike gave him.

Why? - for the $!, obviously.
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