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Pundits question Rory's Nike switch

Last updated: 23rd February 2013

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McIlroy: Poor start to the season

McIlroy: Poor start to the season

While Rory McIlroy is adamant his recent equipment changes aren't causing a problem, Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller are less convinced.

The world number one crashed out of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Thursday's first round after missing the cut in Abu Dhabi a few weeks earlier - the only two tournaments he's played this year since switching to the new gear.

McIlroy is putting the poor performances down to early-season rustiness, but six-time major winner Nick Faldo, who questioned the Northern Irishman's decision to switch to Nike equipment when the multi-million pound endorsement deal was first announced, is less convinced.

Chatting to Johnny Miller during Golf Channel's third-annual "State of the Game", Faldo said: "I tweeted right from when I heard the news, that this is dangerous.

"People say, 'Well he's so darned good, he can compensate.' But I don't feel when you've climbed that wonderful climb to world No. 1 that you should be compensating and trying to find a way for this equipment to fit you.

"I mean, I think it's a very dangerous time," he added.

Miller, a two-time major champion himself, agreed.

"It's very dangerous like you say. I went through the same thing," he said.

"I decided to switch and I switched everything. And I mean, I was like a fish out of water, I was gasping for air.

"So the minute I heard that he was going to switch everything, I'm thinking, 'Wow, that's a gamble.'"

Miller added that the equipment changes may be playing on McIlroy's mind.

"The most important thing in golf is your confidence," he said. "He already had the pressure from being No. 1 and trying to live up to it, and now he's got this whole new thing."

McIlroy will play in next week's Honda Classic, where he is the defending champion, with the Masters in six weeks' time no doubt not far from his mind.



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