Nike Supporting Losers?


The number one and two ranked golfers in the world are Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy.  They finished the U.S. Open today at 13 over, Woods, and 14 over par, McIlroy.  Is Nike supporting losers?

Although it’s early in the season, Tiger Woods appears to be incapable of dealing with the pressure of the majors.  Rory McIlroy, seems to have lost his nearly perfect and powerful swing after making the switch to Nike equipment, his new and lucrative sponsor.  Worse yet, his putting has become dismal.

Tiger Woods has won four tournaments this year.  He will forever be judged by the number of majors he wins.  He is four behind the legend, Jack Nicklaus.  Two majors have gone by this season, and the PGA and the British Open remain.  Questions are abundant if Woods will ever win another major.

McIlroy is even a bigger question.  Sunday, on number 11, Rory hit his first shot into the creek.  After taking his ‘drop,’ his second shot found water as well.  His frustration was taken out on the Nike club, as he jammed it into the ground, twisting the head, and rendering it unplayable for the remainder of the round.

“I think that’s what this tournament does to you,” he said. “At one point or another, it’s got the better of you, and it definitely did this weekend.”

Rory temporarily lost his cool on the course, but regained his sense of humor at the press conference.  When he was introduced at his press conference as shooting 14 over, he joked, “You didn’t have to tell them that part.”

The first two rounds saw the number one, two, and three players in the world matched together.  McIlroy thought Adam Scott, the Masters Champion, played the best of the three, but ended up 15 over par after Sunday’s final round.

“I thought of the three of us, the first two rounds, Adam played the best, and he was the one with the worst score,” McIlroy said. “But that is just what a U.S. Open does to you.”

Woods and McIlroy were not in the same group on Sunday.  For the two Nike sponsored players, it didn’t matter.  It is difficult to say who had the worst day, not that it mattered.  Neither was in contention, and the U.S. Open became a disappointment for many fans.

McIlroy refused to place any blame on his equipment.  Thanks to his destruction of a wedge, he finished the tournament with 13 clubs in his bag, one short of the maximum.

“I sort of needed to play a little bit more,” he said. “If I was to do it all over again, I would have done things slightly differently. But you learn from that and it’s hopefully something I’ll never have to do in my career again. So I don’t mind taking three months to figure it out and go from there.”

The gallery was cheering for Phil Mickelson, who was the leader after 54 holes.  Phil, a devoted father, was also celebrating his birthday.  He couldn’t hold on to the lead, and finished in second place for the sixth time at the U.S. Open.  England’s Justin Rose took home the trophy.

Is it the Nike clubs, or the inability of Tiger and Rory to use their superior athletic ability to win?  Either way, it appears right now that Nike is supporting losers.

James Turnage
The Guardian Express


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