Ball flight the key to TaylorMade's McIlroy coup

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Rory McIlroy has revealed that ball performance was crucial in his decision to commit to TaylorMade, 10 months after Nike's move to close its equipment business. 

In a coup for the manufacturer, which is up for sale by parent company Adidas, TaylorMade has negotiated what it described as a long-term agreement reportedly worth $100million with McIlroy, who tested extensively with rival club makers but was particularly impressed by the quality of ball on offer.

The world number two, a four-time major champion, will use the equipment during this week's Players Championship.

"I'm really excited that I have teamed up with TaylorMade," McIlroy told a news conference at TPC Sawgrass.

"As I said, I needed to address a few issues after Augusta.

"I alluded to the fact that I wasn't really happy with the golf ball I was playing and I needed to do something. I felt like I struggled in the wind.

"So I sort of went back to the drawing board and tested for about 10 days pretty extensively after Augusta, worked with a lot of different things, but I worked with the TaylorMade guys one day and started just on TrackMan on the range and saw stuff with the golf ball, that new TP5x ball that they have, and I thought, wow, this is what I need, this is exactly the thing that I've been struggling with, and this is, I feel, what I need. 

"And then over the course of the next few days, I tested different combinations, a lot of different stuff, and I came to the conclusion that that was the best way forward for me to try and improve, try and win more, try to get back to world number one, try to win more Majors. So I'm really excited about that.

"I've been on Tour 10 years, and this is - it's very rare that you get really excited about your equipment, but I am.

"I feel like it's a new chapter in my life with a lot of stuff going on, but I really feel with the new equipment, as well, it's hopefully going to take me to that next level."

McIlroy has played with a mixed bag early this season, combining TaylorMade woods with Callaway irons at the Masters last month, having earlier used a Callaway driver on the PGA Tour.

The Northern Irishman, who left Titleist for Nike in 2013, will continue to wear the American sportswear giant's apparel, having extended his lucrative sponsorship contract with the company in April.