“I think I’ve always associated Nike with the best. Growing up watching athletes on TV, all the best athletes were in Nike apparel.” – Rory McIlroy, on his much-ballyhooed switch to Nike gear and apparel.
“That was his decision; he’s a big boy and can figure it out on his own.” – Tiger Woods, when asked if he had any impact in McIlroy’s move to Nike.
“It’s amazing what you can learn when you listen and don’t talk. I felt the more I’d say, the more my chances would lessen.” – Paul McGinley, on what he learned about the buildup to being named Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2014.
“It would be ludicrous for us to even intervene at all.” – Mike Davis, U.S. Golf Association executive director, on if the USGA would have any input on the PGA Tour and other professional circuits in terms of whether or not to enact the ban on anchoring before 2016.
“Everybody wins in terms of better fields, better TV, better value for my business partners.” – Mike Whan, LPGA commissioner, on how he envisions creating a better LPGA schedule going forward.
“Just the simple things. He’d say, ‘I’m booking a table every single night (for dinner). If you want to join me, you can. If you want to do your own thing, you can. It’s your week.’” – Ross Fisher, former European Ryder Cup player, when asked what he remembers about McGinley, a two-time Seve Trophy captain and a Ryder Cup vice captain in Wales (2010) and Medinah (2012).
“In many respects, this is a slow passing of the torch. Rory helps contemporize Nike in reaching a younger golf audience, but he can also, if used together with Tiger, help soften Tiger’s image for Nike . . . This is one plus one equals three for Nike.” – Scott Becher, executive vice president of Z Sports & Entertainment, a division of Zimmerman Advertising.
“Tiger Woods is still the cornerstone of golf, regardless who Nike signs. He is still the Empire State Building in the city of golf. Whether you love Tiger or hate him, he still moves the needle in golf like no one else.” – Bill Marshall, president of South Florida-based Team Marketing, on the heels of the McIroy Nike deal.
“I think I’ve messed up with his sleep a little bit. That’s a true fan.” – Caroline Wozniacki, on boyfriend McIlroy, who went to bed at midnight in Abu Dhabi only to wake up at 3 a.m. to watch her match in Australia.