Nationality: Northern Irish
The face of golf: McIlroy is the most popular and recognisable player in the world. His fame brings with it considerable power to influence in many ways, some obvious, others less so. His endorsement shifts anything from clothing and watches to computer games, and his playing schedule can help make or break tournaments. Now that he is free of his Nike equipment contract, McIlroy’s choice of clubs will be heavily scrutinised.
A role model: For the most part, McIlroy has been a great ambassador for golf, supporting good causes and showing the game in a positive, fresh light. But he shows signs of tiring of the responsibility.
Olympic-sized miss: His decision to skip the Olympics was a mistake. Power goes both ways and when you’re the face of the game around the world, growing golf goes with the job.