Found January 13, 2013 on
There will be 124 players who will tee it up in this week's $2.7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, but two will command all the attention.
Get ready for the Tiger Woods versus Rory McIlroy show.
Woods and McIlroy have gone head-to-head many times in the short space of time McIlroy has been in the professional game. However, their clash in Abu Dhabi marks the first time they will have done so playing the same equipment (well, reportedly, for now).
McIlroy will turn up in head-to-toe Nike gear -- switching to the company Woods has been with for most of his professional career. The Northern Irishman has jumped ship for a reported 10-year, $250 million deal.
Sponsors HSBC and oil-rich Sheiks of Abu Dhabi will be looking for a return on the lavish appearance money they've splashed out to lure golf's two biggest names to the desert. They'll be hoping the two end up going hammer and tong down the stretch on Sunday.
Expect the appearance fees paid to the pair to dwarf the prize fund. Such figures aren't exactly printed in the official program, but I'm guessing Woods will be getting in the region of $2.5 million, the figure bandied about last year, with McIlroy getting between $1 million to $1.5 million.
The fact that Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia aren't in the field suggests they perhaps didn't get the money they wanted to turn up in Abu Dhabi. The Englishman has begun his season in Abu Dhabi the last three years, while Garcia has played in three of the last four. Maybe the sponsors only had the cash for Woods and McIlroy.
No Ian Poulter, Luke Donald or Graeme McDowell either. Although Justin Rose, Ernie Els and Jason Dufner add quality. Martin Kaymer returns to a happy hunting ground, too. The German Ryder Cup hero has won three of the last five Abu Dhabi tournaments.
Kaymer missed the cut last year, but don't be surprised if he's in the mix come Sunday. He likes the desert air.
Despite the sponsors' wishes for Woods and McIlroy to steal the show, don't be shocked if we get a repeat of last year. No one factored on Robert Rock taking down Woods in the final round, yet the Englishman did just that.
Such is the strength in depth of the European Tour that any one of the other 122 players could walk away with the title. However, the crowds will only have eyes for two players.
Will Tiger lay down a marker of his intentions for 2013? Will McIlroy play as well with his new gear?
Let the battle of the swooshes begin.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Tiger Woods and his newly minted Nike Golf protégé, Rory McIlroy, shared an awkward moment while making a boatload of cash for appearing at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates. During some amusingly conceived photo-op, Woods and McIloy, who were paired together in the first round of the tourney, are poured a drink from a ornate carafe. But what occurred...
If Tiger Woods and Nike have been a marketing machine that could not be stopped, imagine the possibilities now that Rory McIlroy has joined the team. The world’s No. 1 golfer is Nike’s newest addition, as McIlroy was officially introduced with the corporation on Monday (apparently that lawsuit from Oakley isn’t going to be an issue.)
For those of you who were wondering if this...
If you’ve been following the golf equipment endorsement changes, which I’m sure y’all haven’t, you’d have heard the news that Nike signed Rory McIlroy for, I believe, a metric ******* of money. Huzzah! Let’s celebrate another person’s salary together! I also am sure you’re asking me, “spencer, why in blue **** does this matter?” Well I’ll tell you why, asshole…it...
What happens when Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are together out on the driving range? No cup is safe.
Welcome back to fun advertisements, Tiger Woods. Tiger easily has the best line of the ad, asking McIlroy if that's "his real hair" shortly after McIlroy insults Tiger on his age. We even see Woods resort back to a bit of golf ball juggling, a skill he became...
The past and the future of professional golf is featured in the latest Nike commercial.The star-studded clip includes 37-year-old Tiger Woods and 23-year-old Rory McIlroy belting long drives off the tee. Both attempt to out-drive each other which results in some pretty outrageous feats.Nonetheless, the ad gives golf fans a look into the future while paying tribute to the past at...
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were already heated rivals on the golf course, and now they’ll fight it out for the heart of Nike Inc.
ESPN is reporting that Nike has signed McIlroy to a $200 million endorsement deal.
“I chose Nike for a number of reasons,” McIlroy said. “It’s a company and a brand that really resonates with me. It’s young. It’s athletic. It’s innovative...
When Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy hit the range, no cup is safe. Nike welcome’s Rory McIlroy to the team by playing a little game of hole in one. When will golf brands learn, all you have to do is throw Shooter McGavin in a commercial and it’s game over.
After the buzz of his multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal and a fight over the European Ryder Cup captain, Rory McIlroy is looking forward to actually playing some golf again.
The world's top-ranked golfer and PGA Championship winner leads a star-studded field at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship that also includes Tiger Woods, No. 5 Justin Rose, Ernie Els and Martin Kaymer....
Woody Johnson's wealthy ex-wife Sale Johnson and her new husband, former NFL star and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad, have apparently hit a rough spot in their marriage and a lot of the problem stems from him hanging around with his golf buddies Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.
The couple, who live in a swanky enclave of Jupiter, Fla., have been fighting over her immense $100 million...
Qatar is known as a land of excess, a country so rich that it can afford to effectively buy the World Cup and build nearly a dozen temporary soccer stadiums to house the tournament. However, apparently Tiger Woods is too rich even for Qatar’s blood.
During a news conference this week, reports Doha News, the president of the Qatar Golf Association explained why Woods — who will...
The worst-kept secret in golf is out of the bag.
Nike, which outside of Tiger Woods has made a string of bad bets in golf sponsorship -- from David Duval to Anthony Kim -- hopes to turn its fortunes around by pegging its future in the sport to Rory McIlroy.
The ubiquitous Swoosh, which has relied almost entirely on Woods to drive its golf product, announced on Monday a deal with...
This was a first-round match so important for Caroline Wozniacki that it kept her boyfriend, Rory McIlroy, awake at night.
The former No. 1-ranked Wozniacki came back from 3-0 down in the final set to win the last six games of the match against big-hitting German Sabine Lisicki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday at the Australian Open.
McIlroy got up at 3 a.m. to watch from Abu Dhabi, where...
The World’s number one player is now apart of the NIKE Golf team. According to reports, Mcllroy signed a contract with Nike for excess of $200 million dollars.“Rory is the sport’s new number one and its future,” says Ed Kiernan, president of sports marketing agency Engine Shop. “Nike fills its global rosters with the best athletes in every sport, and clearly it has decided...