New year, new gearNick Watney was in the local Honolua Store at Kapalua earlier this week when he saw a familiar face and quickly placed his hand over his chest, covering up the swoosh on his shirt. Add that to the files of worst-kept secrets.
KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — Nick Watney was in the local Honolua Store at Kapalua earlier this week when he saw a familiar face and quickly placed his hand over his chest, covering up the swoosh on his shirt. Add that to the files of worst-kept secrets.
Nike made it official Tuesday with separate announcements that it has signed Watney and Kyle Stanley to equipment deals. Both had been with Titleist.
The biggest Nike acquisition in the offseason, off course, was Rory McIlroy. Nike will make that announcement in Abu Dhabi, where McIlroy will start his season in a couple of weeks. It also landed S.Y. Noh of South Korea.
The bigger surprises were Stewart Cink, who in October said he had one year left on his Nike deal, switching over to TaylorMade. Also going to TaylorMade were former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover (formerly Nike), Ryan Moore (formerly Adams Golf) and John Huh, who had been playing Ping last year but didn’t have an endorsement until well after he won the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico.
WORLD MONEY LIST
Rory McIlroy is atop the world money list published each year in the “The World of Professional Golf,” the comprehensive golf annual that was started by IMG founder Mark McCormack. The list includes money earned from every golf tournament, even unofficial events such as the Father-Son Challenge and PGA Grand Slam.
McIlroy’s five wins included the PGA Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff events. He finished with $11,301,228.
Justin Rose was No. 2 with $7,897,818, even though he won only once on the PGA Tour at the Cadillac Championship at Doral. Rose also won the Turkish Airways World Golf Final, the medal-match exhibition that attracted a world-class field of eight players. Rose beat Lee Westwood in the final match to earn $1.5 million.
Tiger Woods, with three wins, was at No. 3 with $7,388,061. He was followed by Luke Donald (three wins) and Louis Oosthuizen (two wins).
GOLF DIGEST LIST
Pine Valley is back to No. 1 in Golf Digest magazine’s biennial list of the top 100 courses in the world. The private club in southern New Jersey, designed by George Crump and Harry Colt, had been replaced in the previous list by Augusta National, which this year is No. 2.
The top five remained the same, though there was some reshuffling. Cypress Point went from No. 5 to No. 3, Shinnecock Hills went from No. 3 to No. 4, and Oakmont dropped from No. 4 to No. 5.
Rounding out the top 10 were Merion (East), site of this year’s U.S. Open; Pebble Beach, Winged Foot (West), Sand Hills and Fishers Island Club, which was the only newcomer to the top 10 for the 2013 list. Fishers Island replaces National Golf Links, which slipped one spot to No. 11.
K.J. Choi offered to fly to Maui to take part in the Tournament of Champions pro-am because a few extra players were required to fill out the 30-man field. Korean-based Hyundai is the tournament sponsor. Jerry Kelly also is playing in the pro-am. He flew in from Wisconsin, and that much was clear Monday when he unzipped his golf bag and removed hand warmers. ... Rickie Fowler will hit the opening tee shot of the 2013 season, in the first group at Kapalua with Jason Dufner. In the penultimate group is Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson, which should come in handy when Golf Channel unveils a “yardage line” that looks similar to the yellow first-down line in football telecasts. This will measure drives on the downhill 18th hole at Kapalua.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Americans and Europeans account for 40 of the top 50 players in the world ranking.
“I sit here very humbled and very proud of the position I sit in here, very much so.” — Colin Montgomerie, on being elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.