The courtship is at an end, people.
World No1 Rory McIlroy has signed an endorsement contract with Nike believed to be worth in excess of $200 million.
Fox Sports’ Robert Lusetich confirmed the deal earlier this afternoon, adding that the 23-year-old has already filmed his first commercial for the equipment manufacturer:
“The personable young Northern Irishman appears in the ad alongside the man who helped recruit him to Nike, Tiger Woods.
“The two banter while hitting the company’s new red driver and marvel at how far they’re hitting the ball.
“The commercial also features two other long-hitting golfers, Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley, who have also made the switch to Nike as the company beefs up what has been a disappointing roster.”
I take it the “banter” will be a little more polite than that which made it to air during the pair’s Chinese exhibition earlier this week?
No word yet on when McIlroy is scheduled to make his first appearance in full Nike regalia or quite what effect the new clubs will have on his game, but remember: Sir Nick has already raised the spectre of fiery career implosion.