Rory McIlroy sponsorship deals criticised


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The Independent Online

Rory McIlroy has been criticised by the sponsors of the HSBC Champions in China for missing the tournament to play an exhibition match with Tiger Woods in the same country.

Seven of the top 10 are at Mission Hills to compete from today for a first prize of £743,000 but the world No 1 and 2 have been lured by a bigger pot for Monday's "Duel at Jinsha Lake".

"I'm very realistic," Giles Morgan, the global head of sponsorship and events for HSBC, said. "These type of promotional TV events happen and have a benefit for the sport. But what used to happen was that the players would make their schedules around big events and fit in what they could outside them."

McIlroy has also come under fire for his imminent move to Nike, with six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo saying: "I call it dangerous. "Every manufacturer will say 'We can copy your clubs, we can tweak the golf ball so it fits you'.

"But there's feel and sound as well and there's confidence. You can't put a real value on that – it's priceless."