North Carolina State’s NCAA champ Hill signs endorsement deal with Nike

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PGA.com

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Canadian Matt Hill, who tied Tiger Woods' NCAA record of eight wins in 2009, makes his playing debut today as a professional golfer and a Nike Golf athlete when he tees it up in the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.

The 21-year-old NCAA star from Bright's Grove, Ontario, will play and wear Nike product in his first event as a professional golfer; fittingly enough at the tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus.

In his incredible eight-win season in 2009 as a sophomore at North Carolina State, he won the NCAA individual championship and was awarded the Jack Nicklaus Award as collegiate player of the year, the Haskins Award as outstanding collegiate golfer, and Golfweek's Player of the Year award.

"It's exciting to realize my dream of playing professionally, especially with an equipment partner such as Nike Golf, which has great passion for making equipment and apparel that enhances performance," Hill said. "On a recent visit to Nike's Oven R&D facility, I was amazed by the state of the art approach that Nike has taken to support its pros. I knew they were the right fit for me."

Hill joins a strong global staff of Nike Golf athletes that includes major championship winners such as Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard, Lucas Glover, Trevor Immelman and David Duval.

He's also a natural addition to a roster of winning young Nike Golf athletes such as Paul Casey (winner of three 2009 global tournaments), Anthony Kim (2010 PGA Tour Shell Houston Open), Charl Schwartzel (back-to-back European Tour in early 2010), Pablo Martin (2010 Alfred Dunhill Championship), James Morrison (2010 Madeira Islands Open BPI), and Francesco Molinari (winner of the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup).

"We are thrilled to have a player of Matt Hill's caliber and impeccable college record join our family of Nike Golf athletes," said Kel Devlin, Director Global Athlete Development for Nike Golf. "Matt was blown away on his visit to The Oven where he experienced Nike Golf's dedication to innovation, excellence and performance. Matt has a tremendous future as a Nike Golf athlete."

As part of the agreement with Nike Golf, Hill will wear innovative Nike Golf apparel and its performance-enhancing footwear, and play Nike Golf's industry leading clubs and Nike Golf ONE balls.

Last year Hill was given sponsor exemptions for starts in the RBC Canadian Open, the Buick Open, and Tiger Woods' AT&T National. He has already received a sponsor exemption for the 2010 AT&T National.

Hill's Nike Arsenal:
--Driver: Victory Red STR8-FIT Tour Driver
--Fairway Woods: Nike SQ II 3 and 5-wood
--Irons: Nike VR Full Cavity (3-5) and Nike VR Forged TW Blades (6-PW)
--Wedges: Nike VR Forged 53 and 58-degree
--Ball: Nike ONE Tour D
--Apparel: Nike Golf Tour Collection
--Footwear: Nike Tour Premium