Nike unveils new driver, noncommittal on McIlroy

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Nike Golf unveiled its new VRS Covert “red” driver on Monday, a club company president Cindy Davis called part of the manufacturer’s “most robust and innovative product line ever,” and at least temporarily stemmed rumors that Rory McIlroy was poised to sign a multiyear endorsement deal with the Oregon-based company.

“We’ve been consistent to never comment on athletes when it comes to rumors and speculation,” said Davis, although she did add, “I think you’re going to see many new athletes next year from Nike but we’ve grown every year and that will be no different.”



If McIlroy – who was released from his Titleist contract last week and has been linked to a reported 10-year, $200 million endorsement deal with Nike – does sign with the Swoosh there would be plenty of interest in whether he plays the company’s new VRS Covert driver, a cavity-backed club with an adjustable head that can be dialed in for lofts between 8.5 to 12.5 degrees.

The Covert, which will feature a distinct red crown, is already being tested by some PGA Tour players, including Jhonattan Vegas and Stewart Cink, and was three years in development.

“We took a hard look at ourselves and made a commitment to innovation,” Davis said. “It took years to get that right.”

The introduction was scheduled to take place in New York this week but the damage and ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy caused a last-minute shift to central Florida, site of this week’s PGA Tour finale at Walt Disney World.

The Covert model will retail for $299. The Covert Tour model will go for $399.