The season for “hot stove” talk is upon us as golf inches toward an abbreviated off-season and rumors grow that world No. 1 Rory McIlroy may be headed for a new equipment deal.
On Tuesday, the Ulsterman was asked about the rumors – which would see him jump from Titleist to another company, with Nike Golf being mentioned as the leading candidate.
“I have my management company deal with endorsements and everything like that. I’m just here to concentrate on golf this week, and I’ve got enough to think about trying to get that ball in the hole. So no further comment on that,” said McIlroy, who is playing this week’s BMW Masters in Shanghai.
According to several reports, Nike is trying to woo the two-time major champion with a 10-year deal that some have speculated could be worth $250 million. TaylorMade has also been rumored to be in the mix. Although it is unclear when McIlroy’s contract with Titleist expires sources say that multiple years still remain.
A spokesperson for Titleist said they do not discuss player agreements and a spokesperson from Nike told GolfChannel.com last week, “We are not going to comment on rumors or speculation.”
“These rumors have been going around for years, and it seems to always come up at this time of year,” McIlroy said.
The rumor that McIlroy would bolt Titleist, as well as Oakley and Jumeirah, for Nike reached a crescendo this summer as Tiger Woods and McIlroy began a budding relationship.