Equipment switch not an issue for McIlroy

Updated 21 November 2012
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Equipment switch not an issue for McIlroy

DUBAI: Rory McIlroy has no fears that ditching the Titleist equipment that has taken him to No.1 in the world will result in any diminishing of his golfing powers.
The US PGA champion’s switch to Nike clubs next season, a deal that media reports estimate will be worth $250 million over 10 years, has been the subject of much debate with six-times major winner Nick Faldo among those questioning his decision.
Asked by reporters in Dubai on Tuesday if he had any concerns the change would jeopardize his confidence or form, McIlroy replied: “No, not at all.
“I think all the manufacturers make great equipment nowadays and it’s all very similar — a lot of them get their clubs made at the same factories. I don’t think it will make any difference.”
Twice major winner McIlroy will bid a fond farewell to his old clubs at the $8 million DP World Tour Championship that starts on Thursday, the end-of-season showpiece event on the European Tour.
“I’ve started the process of trying a few new things,” said the 23-year-old Northern Irishman.
“I’m still playing with my Titleist clubs — this is the last week — but I’ve tinkered about a little bit with the new ones, enough to feel comfortable going into next season.”
McIlroy is delighted with the progress he has made this season and European Tour chief executive George O’Grady presented him with a special money clip on Tuesday.
“I thought we would take this moment to acknowledge the extraordinary performance of Rory this year, winning our Race To Dubai money-list before coming to the final championship, and winning the money-list in America too,” said O’Grady.
“He played brilliantly all year and conducted himself in a manner where anybody would be proud to say, ‘He’s our champion’.”
McIlroy said he felt “proud and honored” to join the long list of greats to have won the European money-list.
“I’ve had four goes at it and it was great to be able to do it this year,” he added.
“It’s been a phenomenal year but I’ve still got one tournament left and I want to finish the season strong by picking up two trophies at the end of the week.”
McIlroy agreed with many of his fellow players when he said the importance of the DP World Tour Championship had been diluted after he clinched the money-list title nine days ago.
However, he disagreed with Ryder Cup team mate Luke Donald who earlier in the day urged the tour to consider recalibrating the money-list ahead of the tournament in order to keep the excitement going until the final event of the season. “I think the format is good,” said McIlroy. “It’s a season-long race — that’s the way it is.
“I guess it is a bit of an anti-climax this week but as I said earlier I would love to pick up both trophies come Sunday.”
McIlroy was undoubtedly influenced by the fact he missed out on overall victory in the FedExCup despite having won two of the four tournaments in this year’s US playoff series.




Ultimately he knows he will be remembered for his wins in the ‘big four’ tournaments but he refuses to put on any additional pressure by targeting Jack Nicklaus’s record haul of 18 major victories.
“I’ve always said I’m never going to put a number on it,” said the 2011 US Open winner. “I don’t want to do that, I just want to get my third.
“When I get my third then I want to try and get my fourth. A career grand slam is probably the next obvious goal,” added McIlroy referring to a clean sweep of the British Open, US Masters, US Open and US PGA Championship.


Modi forecasts IPL players will earn ‘$1m a game’

Updated 22 min 54 sec ago
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Modi forecasts IPL players will earn ‘$1m a game’

  • Modi believes that if that $12 million cap is relaxed, leading IPL players could earn as much as English Premier League footballers and even NFL stars
  • London-based Modi forecast the end of country versus country contests, which effectively finance professional cricket structures all round the world and the demise of the International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body

LONDON: Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi believes there will come a time when players will earn $1 million dollars per game while warning that the traditional program of matches between countries “will disappear.”
A Twenty20 domestic franchise competition launched a decade ago, which has spawned a host of imitators worldwide, the IPL is now the most lucrative of all cricket tournaments.
“The IPL is here to stay,” Modi told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper in an interview published Thursday. “It will be the dominant sporting league in the world.”
IPL teams are bankrolled by wealthy businessmen operating in an environment where the passion for cricket in India, the world’s second-most populous nation, makes the game an attractive target for sponsors and broadcasters.
At present there is a team salary cap, with the likes of England all-rounder Ben Stokes earning $1.95 million per season from the Rajasthan Royals.
But Modi believes that if that $12 million cap is relaxed, leading IPL players could earn as much as English Premier League footballers and even NFL stars.
That would have a huge impact on international cricket, with players torn between making an IPL fortune and representing their countries.
“You will see players making $1-$2m a game,” said Modi. “It will happen sooner rather than later.
“In a free market the person with the deepest pockets will win. The players will gravitate toward who pays the biggest salary.”
Meanwhile, in a chilling argument for cricket traditionalists, London-based Modi forecast the end of country versus country contests, which effectively finance professional cricket structures all round the world and the demise of the International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body.
“Today international cricket does not matter,” he said. “It is of zero value to the Indian fan.
“Tomorrow you will see bilateral cricket disappear,” Modi added. “Big series will happen once every three or four years like the World Cup.
“The ICC will become an irrelevant body. It will be full of fat lugs who have no power. They can scream and shout now and in the future they will threaten to throw India out if they try to expand the IPL but India has the power to stand on its own feet...They have a domestic league that it is going to be 20-times the size of international cricket.”
Modi said the only way five-day international Test cricket, long regarded as the pinnacle of the sport, could survive was if the ICC introduced a long talked-about championship.
“I think there is a window for Test cricket and a World Test championship will survive if all nations get together and make it a proper tournament,” he explained.
“But it has to be a championship. If the ICC does not do it I see no reason why the IPL would not do it instead as a knockout IPL Test championship.”
Modi left India to live in London and has not returned home since 2009. The Board of Control for Cricket in India found him guilty of eight offenses relating to irregularities in the administration of the IPL.
He has never been charged by the Indian government with a crime and denies all accusations, but Modi has repeatedly insisted he cannot go back to India because of underworld threats to his life.