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McIlroy, Acushnet will not renew equipment deal

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It’s official — Rory McIlroy is a free agent.

The Acushnet Company, manufacturer of Titleist and FootJoy brands, announced that McIlroy endorsement contract with the company will not be extended, ending Dec. 31, 2012.

“Our goal has been to provide Rory with the best equipment and service that would help him be the best player he could possibly be,” said Wally Uihlein, Chief Executive Officer, Acushnet Company. “He has been a great ambassador for the Titleist and FootJoy brands, and in turn, we are proud of how our equipment has contributed to his success. We wish Rory all the best, both personally and professionally, going forward.”

McIlroy has used Titleist and FootJoy equipment since turning professional as an 18-year old in September 2007. He personally thanked Uihlein in an Acushnet press release, as well as all of the tour staff and employees at Titleist and Footjoy for “everything they have done for me since I turned professional.”

“I have enjoyed five very exciting and successful years with the company and I will always appreciate the contribution Titleist has made in helping me become the player I am today,” McIlroy said.

Talk has been strong on GolfWRX since early September that McIlroy would leave Titleist and join Nike. Click here for read the “Five reasons with McIlroy could join Nike.” 

It is rumored that a deal between McIlroy and Nike could be worth as much as $250 million, although there is no news from Nike at this time. Click here to read why “Rory McIlroy isn’t worth $250 million, but he should take it.”

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour/pre-release equipment” forum.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Pingback: GolfWRX.com – McIlroy, Acushnet will not renew equipment deal | Golf Products Reviews

  2. Sean

    Nov 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    With Rory switching equipment companies there certainly will be a transition period, but with his talent it won’t be very long. All who are reading this love the game of golf and are well aware of Rory. But for those who don’t watch golf really don’t know who Rory is, but they certainly know who Tiger is. I am a golf professional and my wife barely knows who Rory is. If he ends up with Nike they will make him known by many more.

  3. Danny

    Oct 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I find it crazy that you are arguing with me. When is the last time you’ve seen a player that is paid by another OEM use a Nike product like guys do with balls, Scotty’s and vokeys all over. Heck, Phil uses a Titleist fairway wood as Callaway’s big dog. Fowler as Cobra’s ace still uses Vokey wedges and a Scotty putter.

  4. Danny

    Oct 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Nike makes garbage equipment. Take Tiger Woods out and you are left with Carl Pettersson, Molinari and a bunch of guys that only play in the John Deere Classic and other tournaments nobody cares about.

    Nike markets to the weekend rec golfer, Titleist markets to the avid golfer.

  5. Joseph

    Oct 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I think it will be a good overall move for Rory. Nike likes to have top players and will pay them because they can. Tiger still places top 10 in events and STILL is the face of Nike and gold. However as in life people will eventually start to fade and a company will need the next face. Sooooo…. que Rory to step in towards the end of Tigers dominance and have Rory take over in the next few years. Tiger will still be around and Rory is young enough to help Nike pick up wins on the circuit. OH and that plastic putter they call the Method…… Stewart Sink wins the British Open with that Plastic putter and Charl Schwartzel winning the Masters….. Nuff Said!

  6. obvioustroll

    Oct 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

    danny is a troll. Tiger is nr2 and second on money list with “thrash” equipment…

    just ignore haters and move on.

  7. roger

    Oct 31, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Danny

    Give me a set of wilson staff blades, 8802 putter, callaway warbird driver and a top flite and I’ll show you its not the equipment.

    As for your comment about Titleist selling more balls that Nike, no kidding…they are a bigger house hold name in that market. And you wonder why they dont offer player those huge contracts????they cant, they dont have the money to do so. Nike is a company that prints money, titleist isnt.

    Your comment about ask stricker about asking stricker about the pro-v vs. the nike at the ryder cup, cant really give you a firm answer on who’s ball performed worse, they both played like garbage that tournament.

    -Best regards

  8. Facundo

    Oct 31, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Nike is like Apple, you pay only for the logo… I´m sorry Rory, your going on the wrong way.
    Money is not everything in live……

  9. Patrick

    Oct 31, 2012 at 8:08 am

    hahaha!! You have no clue of what you are talking about Danny. Nike compare is self to any other compagnie out there. McIlroy, if he is the next one, will win whit any clubs. At this level, guy’s d’ont leave a brand JUST for money. By the way Phil is sooooo good whit Calaway. You are probably a lefty!!!

    • Facundo

      Oct 31, 2012 at 8:48 am

      By the way, why Rory, Tiger and Phil they played Titleist in the beginning. They could have used Nike…

  10. Jeff

    Oct 31, 2012 at 4:14 am

    A. Tiger is used to the Tour-D and wins with it….why change from that…..A bunch of Pros still use old versions of the Jesus ball (pro-v) cause they are used to it or feel the newer versions suck.
    B. Stricker is trash anyways and shouldn’t of been picked. Didn’t matter what ball he was using…useless point u tried making there.
    C. 2009 Awards for Tiger….with his inferior putter…nuff said
    PGA Tour Player of the Year
    PGA Player of the Year
    PGA Tour Money Leader
    Vardon Trophy
    Byron Nelson Award
    Mark H. McCormack Award
    FedEx Cup winner
    Golf Writers Association of America Player of the year

  11. Adam

    Oct 31, 2012 at 1:37 am

    He should take the money, then never break the top 50 again like Michelle Wie.

  12. Danny

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    and finally, Tigers game has never been the same since Nike forced him to use that mini golf rubber putter of theirs. He picked that thing up at Toys R Us back in 08 and hasn’t made a putt since

  13. Danny

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Classic example here: Titleist makes a product that speaks for itself. It’s tried and true and consistently sells because of it. nike needs to pay billions of dollars to get newbies to golf to buy their products because they are marketed better. It’s like saying McDonalds makes a better burger than Morton’s.

    Ask Stricker how the Nike ball compared to the Pro-V in the Ryder Cup. Trash

  14. Danny

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve bagged 2 Nike drivers and hit enough of their balls to know trash. Phil was right when he said Tiger plays with inferior equipment. All Nike does is make you pay for the logo. There is a reason Tiger doesn’t even play a ball they sell. They can’t consistently make winning products like other brands.

  15. Jeff

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Haters gonna hate. People just love to either hate Tiger or Nike. Most people haven’t even swung a Nike iron or wood etc but love to talk trash about them. I really don’t get it. And yeah Danny I’m sure his game will fail just like Tiger’s did when he went to Nike…..How many wins has he had since then? Your worthless comment pulls no weight.

  16. jason

    Oct 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    sad to see him leave. i really like him on titleist. i hate nike and i was hoping for rory to stick with titleist

  17. Danny

    Oct 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Nike is trash. Once he goes to them his game will fail just like Tiger’s did.

  18. El Guapo

    Oct 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I certainly will not put a Nike club in my bag even if Rory shound win another 20 majors with those clubs – assuming he will join Nike. Bit sad to see him shift but it will be interesting to see how this will affect his game and if he can put his own initials on the clubs. Fair play to Titleist not wanting to compete with herendous $ deals.

  19. memphisunited

    Oct 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Titleist has had a history of helping players achieve stardom (Tiger, Phil, Duval, Ernie, Rory, etc.) only for those players to jump ship for big money equipment deals. I applaud Titleist for having a brand strategy and sticking to it. However, you can’t fault those players for cashing in on their success.

  20. Patrick

    Oct 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

    What next?? Rory and Tiger in a Nike commercial…..

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Tour Mash: Rahm wins in Dubai, Cook sizzles to victory

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Two more points races reached their end this weekend. The LPGA season culminated in Florida with the Race to the CME Globe, while the European Tour concluded its Race to Dubai in, where else? Dubai! The PGA Tour played its final event until the new year, in Georgia, while the Ladies European Tour played its Sanya Open in China. Before American Thanksgiving revelry and remembrance set in, it’s time for one more tour mash.

LPGA Tour: A day of twos ends in a win for Ariya

Ariya Jutanugarn birdied her final two holes to win the CME Tour Championship. She was given the opportunity to win in regulation when Lexi Thompson pushed a 2-foot putt for par at the last. Although Thompson did not win the year’s final event, she captured 2 titles of her own: Vare Trophy for low scoring average and Race To CME Globe, the season’s points race.

How Ariya Jutanugarn tasted victory

The power game has arrived on the LPGA Tour, in case you missed it. Golfers such as Lexi, Ariya and Sung Hyun Park obliterate the orb, leaving little yardage to the green. When her game is firing, Ariya Jutanugarn is unstoppable. After bogey at the first hole on Sunday, the young golfer from Thailand etched six birdies into the final 17 holes, for a second-consecutive 67. Her birdie at the last came from 23 feet, an amazing putt to hole with victory on the line. Down it went, and up went the smile of a champion.

How the rest came up just shy of a win

With eerie similarity, Lexi Thompson’s card was the flip side of Ariya’s. Thompson made six birdies over her first 17 holes, but the hiccough at the last, her only bogey on the day, dropped her to 14-under par and opened the door for Jutanugarn. Thompson was on absolute fire on Sunday, hitting all 14 fairways and using the putter 28 times. Ariya, Kim Kaufman, Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen stood tied atop at 10-under, heading into round 4. Pettersen’s 72, Kaufman’s 71 and Wie’s 70 were simply not enough to keep pace with those coming from behind on Sunday. Ariya, however, was up to the challenge.

European Tour: Rahm wins in Dubai and Fleetwood breathes again

For a time, it seemed as though Justin Rose would win his third consecutive event in Europe and would squeeze past Fleetwood for the season points title. The former Englishman was in the midst of the greatest scoring run of his career, while the later Englishman seemed to have little petrol left in the tank. Then the back nine on Sunday happened, and everything changed.

How Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour

Shane Lowry made 10 birdies on Sunday, but he had one bogey. Rahm had half as many birdies and zero bogeys, and that last number made the difference. The young Basque played a stellar 132 over the closing 36 holes, eclipsed only by Lowry’s 131. Rahm fearlessly navigated his way around the Jumeirah Estates course, eeking out a one-shot win over Lowry and also hard-charging Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

How the others went home trophy-less

We all want to know about Rose. four birdies on the outward 9-holes staked him to a lead, and the greatest season comeback on a major tour was nearly written. With only three bogeys in his first 63 holes, Rose proceeded to bogey 12, 14 and 16, with only a birdie at the last to bring him to 17-under. He ended up two behind Rahm, and in second place in the Race to Dubai points race. It was a glorious campaign for Rose, and cements him as world player to watch in 2018. The Englishman tied for fourth with Sergio Garcia, Dean Burmeister and Dylan Fritelli, both of South Africa, on 17-under par.

PGA Tour: Cook collects First Tour win in Georgia

Fall is a time for young aspirants to make a mark on the PGA Tour. Austin Cook followed the script, birdieing 3-of-his-final-4 holes to stretch a single-shot lead into a four-stroke triumph. J.J. Spaun, a Web.Com tour graduate in 2017, was in the mix for the second consecutive week. He played well down the stretch, and earned a runner-up finish.

How Cook caught fire

Austin Cook played a veteran front-nine, with one bogey and one birdie. None of the chasers caught him, so the Arkansas alum continued to manage his game in the fairways-greens style. On the inward half, Cook took charge, with birdies at 15, 17 and 18, to move well in front of the runner-up. With the precision of a surgeon, Cook took apart the Sea Island course in impressive fashion. After his second-round 62, many expected him to have one weak round on the weekend, but 66-67 showed the his mettle.

How the others flamed out

Spaun really didn’t flame out, not like last week, when he caught the double-bogey train. A proven winner on other tours, Spaun should win in 2018. His game was solid, mixing in more birdies than bogeys, and his second-place finish was well-earned. Brian Gay might have been more comfortable than any other golfer this week, but he was just as erratic. Case in point: back nine. From holes 13 to 18, Gay made one birdie, two eagles, two pars and one double. Still, his numbers were low enough to secure solo third, one stroke behind Spaun and two in front of the fourth-place finishers.

Ladies European Tour: Boutier sizzles on back nine for win

Celine Boutier imagined a top-10 or top-5 when the third day dawned at Yalong Bay, in China. After bogeys on holes 4 and 5, she needed to gather herself in order to preserve her standing. From this day forward, “gather herself” in the dictionary will forever show a picture of Celine Boutier. Her six-birdie finish vaulted her past all challengers, to her first European Tour victory.

How Boutier bloomed

The recent Duke University graduate posted three rounds in the 60s, the only competitor to achieve that distinction at the Sanya Open. The Frenchwoman didn’t make a bogey until the 15th hole of her second round, but she was stuck in neutral from that hole through the 9th hole on Sunday, making only pars and bogeys. Something clicked at the turn, and Boutier regained the confidence that had produced 10 birdies during the tournament’s first half.

How the others gave chase

Solar Lee was in good standing on Sunday’s outward nine. She bounced back from an opening bogey with three birdies through the 9th, and held the top spot on the leader board at 7-under. Lee reached 9-under through 13, but made bogey at 14 to drop to 8-under. Then came the blossoming of Boutier, and Lee had to be satisfied with the runner-up spot. One spot behind Lee was Valdis Thora Jonsdottir, Iceland’s reigning professional golfer, at 7-under.

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Wednesday’s Photos from The 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

 

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

Tuesday’s Galleries

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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