'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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
News
people
Travel
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments