First came the rumours, then the more informed speculation. All the while the manufacturer in question steadfastly replied with a “no comment”.
Now Rory McIlroy’s move to Nike is official – where he will join Tiger Woods, as well as the likes of fellow new recruits Nick Watney, Kyle Stanley, Seung-Yul Noh and Thorbjorn Olesen.
At a press conference in Abu Dhabi, McIlroy announced that he had signed a multi-year contract, the terms of which were not disclosed.
As expected, McIlroy will play and wear Nike from head to toe. That includes his shoes and clothing as well as all 14 clubs and the ball.
Up until now, McIlroy had played exclusively with Titleist clubs ever since turning professional after the 2007 Walker Cup.
He won his second Major championship last August at the PGA at Kiawah Island, to add to the US Open title he claimed the year before at Congressional.
He also topped the money lists on both the PGA and European Tours last year.
McIlroy, 23, has already been on the winning side of two Ryder Cup teams, though in truth he is yet to show his best form in the team event.
“McIlroy will play and wear Nike from head to toe. That includes his shoes and clothing as well as all 14 clubs and the ball.”
It turns out that he visited Nike’s club development facility in Forth Worth, Texas, last autumn to test his new equipment.
“I visited The Oven and I was seriously impressed with both the craftsmanship of the Nike club engineers and how much R&D and product innovation goes on there,” said McIlroy. “I’ve been blown away by the attention to detail when it comes to product.”
This is what McIlroy will have in his bag for his first event, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:
Driver: Nike VR_S Covert Tour (9.5˚, neutral position), Mitsubishi Diamana Prototype shaft
Fairways: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition, 15 & 19˚
Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro (54 & 60˚)
Putter: Nike Method 006 Prototype
Ball: Nike 20XI X
Shoes: Nike Lunar Control
• Read more about Rory’s new Nike VR_S Covert driver HERE