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Game star Rory McIlroy swipes £5m show from Tiger Woods

By Karl MacGinty

Rory McIlroy has the World No1 ranking that once belonged to Tiger Woods.

Now the Northern Ireland golfer has something else that once belonged to Woods - the cover of a latest video game which will earn him even more millions.

Game-maker Electronic Arts Inc has announced that McIlroy will be the new face of its golf series.

EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is to be released in June.

The Co Down man will get a slice of the action from sales around the world - a deal which was worth up to $7m (£4.75m) a year to Tiger at the peak of his 15 years with EA Sports.

"I'm very proud and humbled to see my face and name on EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour," McIlroy said.

"This is a great honour, and something I couldn't even dream of growing up playing the sport. I really hope people enjoy the game and I'm very glad I can be a part of it."

McIlroy is the first non-US golfer to front the EA Sports golf series, in a deal which experts say will help propel his earning potential to a new level.

EA Sports built its PGA Tour series around Woods from 1998 until it ended its relationship with him in 2013, when he was still No1 in the world. McIlroy has been No1 since August. He and Woods shared the game's cover in 2011.

The new console game will be available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The Holywood superstar is one of the world's highest-earning athletes, coming in at number 35 on a list compiled by prestigious US business magazine Forbes.

They magazine lists the 25-year-old as earning $24.5m (£16.6m) a year - and with $20m (£13.5m) of that listed as coming from endorsements, there no doubt that McIlroy is a hot property.

His endorsement deal with sportwear giant Nike alone is worth $10m (£6.75m) a year.

McIlroy also has lucrative sponsorship arrangements with leading audio technology firm Bose, luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega and Spanish banking giant Santander.

Rory may have taken over from Tiger Woods on the Xbox and Playstation, but he still has a long way to go to overtake him on the rich list.

Tiger comes in at number six, raking in $61.2m (£41.5m). Another fellow PGA golfer, Phil Mickelson, also outguns McIlroy, with revenues of $53.2m (£36.08m). Mickelson ranks eighth on the Forbes list.

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