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Beyond the Baseline

Rory McIlroy looks to Roger Federer as role model in business

Rory McIlroy, Caroline Wozniacki Caroline Wozniacki caddied for Rory McIlroy at the Masters' Par-3 tournament. (David Goldman/AP)

Rory McIlroy tells The New York Times that while Tiger Woods may have been his childhood idol, nowadays he seeks to pattern himself after Roger Federer.

McIlroy admires the Swiss star's business acumen and actually sought his advice before signing a multimillion-dollar deal with Omega watches last month.

[B]rand-wise, he aspires to be like another Nike endorser, the tennis superstar Roger Federer, who has become a symbol of grace and good taste. McIlroy said he discussed the business side of sports with Federer over dinner in December while in Brazil to watch his girlfriend, the tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Before completing the deal with Omega, McIlroy spoke for 45 minutes with Federer, a 17-time major singles champion.

“He’s a role model, someone I can pattern myself after,” McIlroy said.

When it comes to his course performance, McIlroy may be taking his Federer worship too far. The Nike mates both held the No. 1 ranking last year but are currently ranked No. 2, and neither has won a title this year.

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