The rumor was first heard on the No Laying Up golf podcast, which stated that the PNC Golf Championship –which takes place from Dec. 14-17 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club– could be the last time Woods is laced in Nike gear.
The two’s partnership began in 1996 when Woods was just 20 years old for a reported five-year, $40 million deal. At the time, it was deemed the most lucrative deal in golf history, and Woods quickly proved he was worth the pretty penny by earning Sports Illustrated’s 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
The following year, he won the 1997 Masters, making history as the tourney’s youngest victor. His feats in golf continued when he won six consecutive events on the PGA Tour in 2000, finishing the year with nine wins altogether. Then, in 2001, he won his second Masters, and again in 2002. He’d win again in 2005 and proved his age wouldn’t hold him back when he won again in 2019, besting his competition of Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka by just one stroke.
But despite donning Swoosh while accomplishing those stats, it appears that the professional golfer has slowly quit using Nike-branded golf goods in recent years.
In 2016, Nike stopped making golf clubs, balls and bags to focus on its Golf footwear and apparel, so Woods started using TaylorMade clubs instead. The decision came at a time when Nike Golf had its worst fiscal year since 2011, only making $706 million.
And while Nike still makes golf shoes, Woods hasn’t even been spotted wearing those, and instead, he is rocking FootJoy’s golf shoes following his 2022 ankle surgery.
“I have very limited mobility now. Just with the rods and plates and screws that are in my leg, I needed something different, something that allowed me to be more stable. That’s what I’ve gone to,” Woods explained to Golf.com of his footwear choice.
In a follow-up press release, Nike expressed how happy they were to see Woods back on the course following his gruesome 2021 car accident, saying they “will work with him to meet his new needs.”
Neither Woods nor Nike have commented on their pending relationship.
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