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Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler Will Share the Video Game Cover with Tiger Woods

SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 16:  Rickie Fowler of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland during the third round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's on July 16, 2011 in Sandwich, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Carlos TorresContributor IOctober 27, 2011

Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, were the last golfers standing after the three-week vote-off to determine who would join Tiger Woods on the cover of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13. 

16 players were separated in two elimination brackets, One from the US PGA Tour and the other from the European tour. The players were placed in the brackets for head-to-head voting starting from a quarterfinals standpoint.

The golfers on the US PGA Tour bracket were Bubba Watson, Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Rocco Mediate.

The European bracket consisted of Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Ross Fisher, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Edoardo Molinari.

Over 216,000 votes were cast on the online poll conducted from October 3rd to the 23rd. And the voting on the finals for both choices was fairly close, with Fowler edging Bubba Watson 52 to 48 in the votes percentages, while McIlroy prevailed over Luke Donald, 54 to 46.

As the name of the game implies, Woods is the focus of the game and for it, he had been the only featured golfer on the cover for all editions dating back to 1998. But his stock and brand has taken a hit and dipped since 2009. Woods is far removed from his status as the World's No. 1 golfer, and has not won a tournament since then. 

It has been widely speculated that Electronic Arts (the game's creating company) would start to slowly phase away the focus of the game from him. This will be the second time in the 15-year history of the game series that the cover will feature a second golfer in addition to Woods. 

The first time that Woods was not featured solo in the cover of the game was when McIlroy shared the cover with him for the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 game—on all editions.  

For the following release, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, on the main retail edition, it featured a shot of Woods–small, far and facing away from the cover–driving hole No. 12 at Augusta National.

It marked the first time the home of the Masters make its appearance in a video game. It is also worth noting that EA released a collectors edition of the video game for the PS3 console, which showed a closeup of Woods.

I originally thought that a dream pairing would have been with Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson. From a marketing perspective it would make perfect sense. His fired caddy, who is now with Scott, and his newly hired one, who used to be with Johnson.

Or, maybe Keegan Bradley as the US PGA Tour selection. It would have serve as a consolation prize for his President's Cup snub. It would have just spiced things up a bit.

Of course that was just making some fun out of the whole situation. But aside from the jokes, McIlroy and Fowler make for two great choices from the fans and true marketing perspective.

McIlroy, is arguably the top young golfer in the world. This year he has garnered even more attention after a sizzling and dominant performance at the US Open, for his first major win. He is also the World's No. 3 ranked player.

Meanwhile Fowler, another up-and-coming young golfer, is a  former Oklahoma State University standout. He was the World’s No. 1 amateur golfer for 36 weeks from 2007 to 2008, and this year at The Open, he had his best finish in a major (T5).

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13  is scheduled for release in the US on March 31st, 2012, for the XBox 360, PS3, and Wii consoles. 

- Carlos Torres

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