PGA Tour Notebook: Several players kick off season with new equipment

graeme mcdowell
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U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell sported his new Srixon cap on Tuesday at Kapalua.
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press


Published: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 | 11:24 p.m.

Typical of a new season, some players arrived at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with new clubs after their previous deals expired. The most noteworthy, perhaps because of the monstrous year he had, was U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell switching from Callaway to Srixon.

He will use Srixon irons and golf balls and Cleveland wedges. McDowell will wear a Srixon hat and glove and carry the logo on his bag.

Players champion Tim Clark, meanwhile, has left Srixon for Titleist.

Jim Furyk, who had an endorsement deal with Srixon, will continue using its irons. But he has switched to a TaylorMade bag, as the FedExCup champion will be using the TaylorMade driver and ball.

Not in the field is former Masters champion Trevor Immelman, who has left Nike for Callaway. Kevin Streelman signed with Wilson.

HAWAII NEWCOMER: No one figures to have less experience at the Tournament of Champions than Ian Poulter.

He had been on holiday with his family in the Bahamas when he flew out to Hawaii on Monday. Poulter showed up on the Plantation Course for the first time Tuesday with the intention of hitting balls, and playing the course for the first time on Wednesday in the pro-am.

He could be in for a surprise.

"I know nothing about the course," Poulter said. "All I can tell you is the 18th is a par 5. That's it. I know nothing else."

Poulter has seen TV promotions of players hitting their second shots on the 18th, down the hill toward the ocean, one of the more spectacular views in golf. He knows that shot, but nothing else.

He usually is on holiday this week of the year, and that doesn't include watching a golf tournament.

WORLD MONEY LIST: PGA Champion Martin Kaymer won the Race to Dubai on the European Tour, but that still wasn't enough for the 26-year-old German to rank among the top 10 in worldwide earnings for 2010.

In a list tabulated for the annual "Year in Professional Golf," U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell was No. 1 with $7.37 million. He was followed by Lee Westwood of England ($6.5 million) and Ernie Els ($6.3 million).

The world money list does not include bonus money from the Race to Dubai or the FedExCup on the PGA Tour. It counts money at events that have at least four players and is contested over at least 36 holes.

The top American on the list was Dustin Johnson at $5.54 million, while FedExCup champion and three-time winner Jim Furyk finished seventh at $5.1 million.

Kaymer was 11th at slightly more than $4.6 million.

DIVOTS: Geoff Ogilvy showed up at Kapalua with grips on his golf clubs that are unlike any other -- they were made from the hide of kangaroo in his native Australia. ... Graham DeLaet and Alena Sharp have been voted players of the year by the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. DeLaet finished 100th on the PGA Tour money list in his rookie season, while Sharp was 56th on the LPGA Tour money list. ... The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines will allow fans to bring cell phones to the course in an ongoing experiment. They must be switched on silent, and designated areas are set aside for phone calls. Fans can send texts and e-mails, but they cannot take video or pictures during competition days.

STAT OF THE WEEK: The Tournament of Champions features 19 of the top 40 players in the world. Nine of the 19 are Americans.

FINAL WORD: "I would like to play with him every Sunday afternoon in the last group for the rest of my life. I guarantee I'm going to beat him every once in a while. Guarantee it." -- Rocco Mediate, on playing with Tiger Woods.