Tiger Woods signed a new endorsement deal with Nike about two weeks ago, according to a report on ESPN.com Wednesday afternoon. The report was confirmed by Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg.
The new agreement replaces Woods' existing deal, which was set to expire at the end of the year. Steinberg didn't disclose the new contract's length or financial terms.
"We're comfortable with where we ended up and the career trajectory that Tiger will be on with Nike," Steinberg told ESPN.com at the Open Championship. "I'm thrilled we were able to complete this deal."
"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Tiger," said Nike Golf President Cindy Davis in a statement released to ESPN.com. "He is one of Nike's most iconic athletes and has played an integral part in Nike Golf's growth since the very beginning. … we will continue to utilize his insights to develop the most innovative products that support golfers reaching their full potential."
Woods began his relationship with Nike upon turning professional in 1996, when he signed a five-year deal said to have been worth $40 million. That deal was followed by another five-year agreement worth $100 million, according to reports, and was followed by the seven-year deal that just now is being replaced.
Woods told ESPN.com last month that "it was just a matter of time" before the contract would be signed. Steinberg had said last month that he felt "confident [Woods] will be with Nike for the rest of his career."
The great Ian Poulter putter audition is over – and the winner is an Odyssey White Damascus #1 blade.
''My putter is selected for the week,'' Poulter said on Twitter Tuesday from Scotland, where he is playing the British Open. ''It is an Odyssey White Damascus. Rolling it very nice. Testing over for now.''
Never heard of it? That's because it's not available in the United States, or many other places, at least not yet.
Odyssey is showing it off in Japan this summer, and it apparently will be available at retail in Japan this fall. It's an Anser-style blade with an unsual face insert containing an inner urethane layer and an outer layer of Damascus steel for soft yet solid feel upon impact.
Damascus steel is popular in Asia, and is created by melting materials such as iron and charcoal with steel pieces to create a metal that is hard yet also flexible. It has been used for 1,000 years or so from India to the Middle East to Japan to create long-bladed weapons with rare strength and eye-catching design patterns. As you can see, the sole of Poulter's putter has a cool-looking white sword.
The White Damascus blade is listed on www.rakuten.co.jp, a big Japanese online retailer, which says the putter comes in 33-, 34- and 35-inch models with a silver PVD finish. The price before tax is listed at 17,800 yen, which works out to about $180.
Poulter, of course announced last week that he was retiring his Odyssey White Hot XG #7 putter, the one with which he putted so well at the 2012 Ryder Cup. He solicited new putters to try out via social media, and received quite a few.
Poulter also used Twitter to announce some other changes to his bag this week. He's carrying a Cobra AMP Cell 2-hybrid that he says carries 240 yards, along with a 3-iron and 4-iron instead of higher-lofted hybrids. He's also got new 56- and 62-degree Titleist Vokey wedges ''for extra spin.'' These newbies join his incumbent Cobra ZL Encore driver and Amp Cell 3-wood.
''A lot of you are thinking I've changed too many clubs. Every club in the bag I have used before. Even putter shape I've used before,'' he tweeted, adding the hashtag #Relax.
With the world's best players convening at Muirfield this week, a lot of us have the British Open – and British Open weather – on our minds.
That also includes Nike Golf, which is rolling out its new Hyperadapt Storm-FIT Jacket. This brand-new jacket features an impenetrable outer layer for protection, the company says, combined with the stretch capabilities of a sweater for increased range of motion.
Nike's designers worked closely with some of the company's staff players, including Paul Casey, who wore the jacket last month at the Irish Open, which he won during a week of sunshine, heavy downpours and winds gusting up to 35 mph. Casey and other Nike players are outfitted with the new jackets at Muirfield this week.
''Inspired by our athletes who demand the best in performance, our team set to work to create a jacket built to change the way golfers feel in unfavorable weather conditions,'' said Vice President of Global Golf Apparel Merritt Richardson. ''We are always working to minimize distractions. From reducing sound to enhancing stretch, the Hyperadapt Storm-FIT jacket is the ultimate in protection and performance.''
With no-sew technology throughout the garment's inner layer, designers minimized the potential for chafing. They also added a four-way stretch system to the shoulders and arms that maximizes mobility and eliminates restrictions during the swing. This woven, stretch knit laminate combination reduces noise during the swing and, the company says, provides a sweater-like feel for comfort and protection.
''Often, athletes will add a size to their rain jackets because they don't want to feel restricted by the fabric,'' said Richardson. ''This leads to a distracting, oversized jacket that is not optimal for competitive play. The Hyperadapt jacket eliminates this issue by providing athletes the protection they need without sacrificing the performance benefits of a stretch pullover.''
Outiffted with adjustable cuffs, the new Hyperadapt jacket is breathable and, Nike says, seam-sealed for 100 percent waterproof protection.
It is available at retail now. Half Zip versions retail for $240, and come in Black, Cool Grey and Game Royal. The Full Zip models retail for $280 and come in Black, Cool Grey, Game Royal and Armory Slate.