'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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Wes Brown is sent-off
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower