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Two weeks after the golf world wondered aloud whether Rory McIlroy would join Nike for the upcoming season for an eye-popping $200 million-plus, it appears we have our answer, after Fox Sports' Robert Lusetich reported that the No. 1-ranked player in the world will be Swooshing with Tiger Woods in a deal that's worth "at least" $200 million.
While Nike officials wouldn't confirm the report -- and honestly, why would they at this point -- McIlroy has, according to FoxSports.com, already filmed his first Nike commercial with Woods and new signees Kyle Stanley and Nick Watney.
McIlroy now becomes Nike's highest-paid golfer and the face of the company. Sure, Tiger Woods is still the highest profile name on the staff, but at this point, Nike's clearly looking towards the future. The decision to also add Stanley and Watney to the stable -- they, like McIlroy, were also with Titleist last year -- proves the Swoosh means business.
With McIlroy leaving Titleist just a year after he made over $8 million and won his second major, there will likely be plenty of people who question the decision to walk away from what he's known for years for an incredible payday and equipment uncertainty.
But here's the deal: No one in their right mind would pass on $200 million, even if it meant switching to new clubs, balls, etc. McIlroy was always going to be the big story going into 2013 based on the way he finished the season. However, the decision to switch to Nike will no doubt put him under an even bigger microscope.
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