Rory "likely" to use new Nike driver - doesn't fear doing a Phil

Rory "likely" to use new Nike driver - doesn't fear doing a Phil

Rory McIlroy has no fears that putting a new driver in the bag this week could have disastrous results.

Phil Mickelson changed his woods and ball for the 2004 Ryder Cup and was so wild off the tee that he nearly hit a 15-year old Rory McIlroy, who was there as a fan having played on the winning Junior Ryder Cup side earlier in the week.

"Phil Mickelson nearly hit me off the first tee in 2004," McIlroy said when dismissing fears of a similar disaster at Gleneagles with the new Nike Vapor driver having used the Covert version to win two majors this season.

"I was standing down the left-hand side, so I'm very aware of what he did that week (laughter). Hey, look, Phil changed from one equipment manufacturer to another. This is a driver that I've actually been using and practicing with since June, so it's not like -- I wouldn't be putting it in the bag if I didn't feel it was better.

"But I think everyone saw yesterday, it was the only driver I had out there in the bag. It's looking likely that it's going to be in the bag this week."

McIlroy refused to reveal details of a motivational speech by Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Manchester United manager, in the team hotel last night.

"For me being a Manchester United fan was the highlight of the week so far," he said. "I was there and I was just sitting there and looking up at him, and I didn't -- I didn't take my eyes off him.

"I was sort of in this trance just listening to everything that he was saying and I'm sort of thinking, this is all the stuff that he's probably said to Manchester United teams over the years.

"He told us a couple stories just of past experiences in some big games and big matches, and some of the players that he managed, and it was a great evening. It was a really cool thing to be a part of."

Asked blunt if he could share any of Ferguson's stories, McIlroy said: "No."

However, he did point out that embracing favouritism as Ferguson's teams once did, is part of their mission this week.

"United were obviously favourites and whenever he was managing, they made Old Trafford a bit of a fortress," McIlroy said. "And when teams went there, it was very hard to compete against United. He was just talking a bit about that.

"We're slight favourites for a reason. We deserve to be. We've played well this year. It's not something that we should shy away from. It's something that we should embrace."

McIlroy insisted that beating him was not worth more than a point to the US team given that he's the world No 1 and a four-time major winner.

"Someone beats me, they win a point," he said.

No extra kudos?

"It's not different at all. It's the same. They win a match against me, they get a point, no more, no less."

As for the benefits of having a personality like Ferguson speak to the team, McIlroy recalled how the 2010 side spoke to Seve Ballesteros on a  speakerphone at Celtic Manor and the effect that had.

"That was incredible, all of us huddled around this little speakerphone and Seve just rallying the troops. That was incredible.

"Those things do help, those things really do. It galvanises us and brings us together, especially something like that. Seve was back in Spain and couldn't travel; he obviously wasn't feeling too well at that time.

"And then something like last night, as well. Okay, everyone might not be a Man-United fan, but at the same time, everyone has to respect what Alex Ferguson has done and what he's done in his career and how successful.

"These things, they help. They are little details in the bigger picture, but it would be that half a per cent or that one per cent that helps us to get back that little trophy."