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Golfer McIlroy Ends Relationship With Acushnet’s Titleist Brand

Rory McIlroy is ending his relationship with Acushnet Co.’s Titleist and FootJoy brands after the 2012 season, the company and the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer announced.

Neither McIlroy, who holds the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking over No. 2 Tiger Woods, nor the company disclosed a reason for the split in a press release.

The Irish Times reported on Oct. 20 that McIlroy, who captured his second major title with an eight-stroke win at the PGA Championship in August, could sign a 10-year agreement with Nike Inc. (NKE) worth as much as $250 million. The report didn’t cite a source for its information.

Conor Ridge, McIlroy’s agent, declined to comment on the golfer’s equipment sponsorship in an e-mail.

“I have enjoyed five very exciting and successful years with the company and I will always appreciate the contribution Titleist has made in helping me become the player I am today,” McIlroy, 23, said in a statement released by the Fairhaven, Massachusetts-based company.

McIlroy, who also won the 2011 U.S. Open and defeated Woods in a head-to-head exhibition match in China on Oct. 28, has been sponsored by Titleist and FootJoy since turning professional in 2007 at age 18.

Beth Gast, a spokeswoman for Nike’s golf division, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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