'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
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss