Having ascended to the top of the World Golf Rankings in 2012, Nike unveiled Rory McIlroy as a new brand ambassador in January 2013. Reportedly worth $20 million annually, the blockbuster endorsement deal placed the young McIlroy among the sport's top-paid players, though many would blame the switch to Nike clubs for his struggles throughout the year.
2 of 12Getty Images
The ceremony surrounding Nike's announcement included a hologram of McIlroy.
3 of 12Getty Images
Citing a toothache, a struggling Rory McIlroy withdrew from competition less than halfway through his second round at the Honda Classic in March.
4 of 12Getty Images
Breakup rumors followed Rory McIlroy and his girlfriend, Danish professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, throughout 2013.
5 of 12Getty Images
It was all smiles at the Masters Par-3 contest at Augusta National, though, where Wozniacki grabbed the bag and caddied for McIlroy.
6 of 12Getty Images
Rory McIlroy carded a 79 on Saturday at Augusta to put his chances of winning his first green jacket well out of reach. He finished T25.
7 of 12Getty Images
Rory McIlroy and Conor Ridge, right, of Horizon Sports Management, which represented McIlroy until May 2013 when the young golfer left to form his own management company. McIlroy filed suit against Horizon in October, claiming that he was misled into signing an unbalanced contract "in circumstances of great informality" at the company's Christmas party. Horizon is countersuing.
8 of 12Getty Images
Rory McIlroy was never a factor in the 2013 U.S. Open, as rounds of 73, 70, 75 and 76 left him tied for 41st at 14-over.
9 of 12Getty Images
Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Open Championship at Muirfield with rounds of 79 and 75, his worst-ever 36-hole score at a major championship.
10 of 12Getty Images
Rory McIlroy managed to piece together a pair of sub-70 rounds at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill to finish T8, which (his second place finish at the Valero Texas Open aside) matched his best result of the year on Tour.
11 of 12Getty Images
With the PGA Tour season behind them, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods reprised their roles as dueling golfers in an 18-hole exhibition match at Mission Hills in China in October. McIlroy bested Woods, 67 to 68, for the second year in a row. "I would like to play all my tournaments in China where I can beat Tiger," McIlroy said of his victory.
12 of 12Getty Images
The end of 2013 saw McIlroy regain his winning stroke, as he denied Adam Scott's bid for the Australian triple crown with a birdie on the 18th hole to win the Australian Open.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!