'I could use hockey sticks and an orange': Rory McIlroy switches clubs

World No 1 plays down fears that change to Nike from Titleist will affect his game

Rory McIlroy has no fears over ditching the clubs that made him world No 1. The Northern Irishman, who topped the money list on both sides of the Atlantic in 2012, heads into this weekend's Dubai World Championship playing with Titleist clubs for the last time before he switches to Nike.

Althought the deal will be financially lucrative for McIlroy - it is reported the deal will be worth over £150m over 10 years - some, including a certain Nick Faldo, have expressed reservations over whether switching clubs will be good for his game. But when the question was put to the player, his reply was emphatic: "No, not at all. I think all the manufacturers make great equipment nowadays and it's all very similar - a lot of them get their clubs made at the same factories. I don't think it will make any difference. A hockey stick and an orange serves me all right"

McIlroy will be presented with his European Tour Order of Merit trophy and a cheque for £629,000 before he tees off tomorrow. But he has more of an eye on finishing on a high than any financial matters. But as far as money is concerned, there is the prospect of knocking Tiger Woods off the top of the list of all-time money-earners in a single season. Woods earned $11,557,729 (£7.26m) in prize-money in 2007. If McIlroy wins in Dubai, the £1m cheque will put him almost £250,000 ahead of the American.

"I would like to pick up two trophies at the end of the week," said McIlroy. "Obviously you have to stay right until the end, so I might as well make it matter.

"I really want to play well this week, finish this season on a high. There's been a lot of high points this year and it would be great to finish on one as well. Winning, trying to be the best player that I can be, trying to win majors – that's the real goal for me."

McIlroy won one major this year and the inevitable question concerns how many more he can win – and whether he can reach Jack Nicklaus's 18, or however many Woods ends his career with.

But McIlroy said: "I've always said I'm never going to put a number on it. I don't want to do that. I just want to get my third and when I get my third I want to try to get my fourth. Obviously I'm halfway to the career Grand Slam, so that's probably the next obvious goal for me."

McIlroy clinched the Order of Merit money title after finishing third at the Singapore Open, becoming the second golfer – after Luke Donald – to win the US and European money titles in the same season. The week leading up to the season-ending tournament is lacking the usual drama for the first time since the Race to Dubai was rolled out in 2009 because McIlroy wrapped up the money title so early.

But Donald believes that although the way his Ryder Cup team-mate sealed both titles well before the end of the season means the format could warrant a change, McIlroy's feats makes his own money list double victory in 2011 pale into insignificance.

"Twelve months ago I came here with a lot of pressure trying to win the Race to Dubai and with Rory right on my tail and with a lot more excitement surrounding the final event," Donald said. "But this time around Rory's already wrapped up the title. The European Tour may want to think about adding a scenario where that doesn't happen and incorporate either a play-off system or some other way to make sure that it goes down to the wire.

"What Rory's done this year has made what I did last year seem pretty ordinary."

McIlroy is not a fan of changing the European Tour format to match that of the US, perhaps unsurprisingly as he played well during the three-tournament play-off system which whittles the field down to 30 for the FedEx Cup, but could do no better than tie for 10th place in the season finale, with Brandt Snedeker taking the $10m first prize.

"The format's good – it's a season-long race," McIlroy said. "I played well during the FedEx Cup playoffs this year on the PGA Tour and felt a little hard done by, playing so well and not being able to win that."

Moneybags McIlroy: Rory on top

Victory for Rory McIlroy in Dubai this weekend will see him break Tiger Woods's record for prize money won in a calendar year.

The £1m McIlroy stands to receive would take his total to £250,000 more than the £7.26m ($11.6m) amassed by Woods in 2007.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone