After One Bad Round, Nike's $20 Million Man Rory McIlroy Gives Up On His Nike Putter

Rory PutterRory’s new old Titleist putter. (Sorry for the lines in the photo, I need a new TV)

Photo: Photograph of Golf Channel

Well, that didn’t last very long!After one shaky round of golf, Rory McIlroy dumped his Nike putter for his old Titleist-made Scotty Cameron putter.

It didn’t really make much of a difference. McIlroy missed the cut after shooting six-over par in the first two rounds of the Abu Dhabi HSBC tournament. The leader after two rounds, Justin Rose, was eight under, which gives you an idea about how poor McIlroy’s play was.

McIlroy explained the putter switch saying, “I felt the greens were pretty slow out there. The Nike putter that I used (on Thursday) is a little light and it was just a weight issue more than anything else … I feel like the one I used today was a little heavier and I was able to get the ball to the hole.”

This is a bit of a shock. He didn’t putt particularly well, but his real problem was with the driver and fairway woods, which he sprayed all over the place. And the truth of the matter is that this tournament doesn’t mean much. He should have stuck with his Nike putter just to get comfortable with it.

McIlroy, the world’s number one golfer, officially announced he was using Nike equipment this week in a huge press conference in Abu Dhabi. During the press conference, McIlroy talked about how much he loved the new Nike equipment.

Rightly so, his deal with Nike has been widely reported to pay him in the neighbourhood of $20 million a year.

When McIlroy did his big press conference about joining Nike he was asked if he had to use Nike’s putter. He dodged the question, saying that he wasn’t going to talk about the specifics of his contract.

Missing a cut and giving up on the putterĀ is a bad start for his career on Nike. Luckily, it happened half way around the world and only hardcore golf nerds were even paying attention.

If McIlroy has it all settled by the Masters, then this will be forgotten quite quickly. But if McIlroy has more bad rounds with Nike, then it will become a big story.

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