Rory McIlroy has been spotted testing a new Nike driver on the eve of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles

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Rory McIlroy has been spotted testing a new Nike driver at Gleneagles, starting rumours he may make a bold switch from his Nike VR_S Covert 2.0 Tour before the Ryder Cup begins on Friday.

You’d think the news would worry European captain Paul McGinley, who will be relying on the world number one’s incredible driving to provide a platform for Team Europe’s 2014 campaign, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Asked for his opinion  McGinley said: “It doesn’t concern me at all. He spoke to me and said first thing when he got here, ‘I’ve been testing something new, this is where I’m at with it, do you have a problem?’ I said, ‘Rory, I don’t have any problem. You make your own decisions. You have your own team around you. You are the best player in the world, make your own decisions and I’m not going to influence that.’

“I’d never dream of giving a player a lesson or telling them what to do. They make their own decisions, that’s why they’re top players and that’s why they are here.”

Speaking after Wednesday’s practice round where he again used the new driver, McIlroy all but confirmed that he’ll put it in play this week, saying: “This is a driver that I’ve actually been using and practicing with since June. 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.”

The Northern Irishman must really rate the new Nike driver to even consider a change, let alone at such a key event, after a season that’s seen him average 305.4 yards off the tee on the European Tour and 310.5 PGA Tour, which has helped the 24-year-old win two majors, a WGC and the BMW Championship.

Nike is staying tight-lipped about the new driver, which is expected to be launched to the mass market in 2015, but four new drivers – the Vapor Pro and three versions of the Vapor Speed – did appear on the USGA’s conforming driver list on Monday.

All we know about the new club at this stage is what we can see from the picture above, including the new black and green (rather than red) paint job,  that the cavity back technology remains, and the appearance of a new “compression channel” behind the face, which is similar to that once seen on the Nike VR drivers.