Golf News for Thursday, January 27, 2005 | Sponsorship

Paul Casey joins Nike golf tour staff

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Jan. 14, 2005– When golfer Paul Casey first visited Nike Golf’s 28,000 square foot research and design facility in Ft. Worth, Texas last November to determine if golf’s newest leader could help him contend in 2005, he expected a manufacturer’s typical short menu of marketable clubs and balls to play next season.

Instead, Casey was overwhelmed with an array of performance equipment and the uncommon promise to help him win by designing him any club, any ball, any time.
Now Nike Golf has announcd the addition of golfer Paul Casey to its professional Tour Staff. Needless to say, the 27-year-old Casey had a good visit.

“More than anyone else in golf, Nike puts its golfers first and treats them like athletes,” said Casey, beginning his first year with full exemption on the PGA Tour. “They truly care about helping us compete and will get us the equipment we need. This is not a common approach in our industry and also the reason Nike will dominate golf some day.”

Ranked 29th in the World Rankings to begin 2005, Casey will play a full complement of Nike clubs and the Nike One Gold golf ball. He was introduced to the latest technical styles from Nike Golf’s apparel and footwear teams during a recent visit to Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. Footwear will initially be included in the multi-year relationship.

Casey joins fellow Tour Staff players Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Stephen Ames, Justin Leonard, Paul Azinger, John Cook, and 21 other top professionals playing the Nike Ignite Driver for its unmatched distance and forgiveness. Casey will play the 410cc Ignite while Cink and Woods have moved to the 460cc Nike Ignite for proven distance control. The 460cc driver is the largest allowed by the USGA.

“Right now I am hitting the ball farther than ever. Technology, or the lack thereof, has held me back the past couple years. With the combination of the Ignite and the Nike One ball I feel like I have not only caught up but I will leap-frog a lot of players because of the innovation that Nike’s given me,” said Casey after a recent test in his hometown of Phoenix. “Nike Golf is going to get me back among the Tour leaders in distance and consequently, contending on a weekly basis.”

Nike Golf introduced NexTi, the strongest form of titanium used in a driver, with the debut of the Ignite last spring. This first-time face material is so strong that it allowed club maker Tom Stites to create a driver face that is incredibly thin with a sweet spot that practically reaches to the edges around the face.

In addition to the Nike Ignite, Casey will play an Ignite T60 3-wood, Nike Golf’s Forged Pro Combo irons and the new Spin Velocity (SV) Wedges in 52, 56 and 60-degrees. Nike Golf’s Tour Staff has proven to prefer the precision and performance of forged clubs versus cast. More than 30 professionals are currently using Nike Golf’s Forged Blades, Forged Pro Combo irons or forged prototypes developed for their specific needs.

The Nike One Gold golf ball in Casey’s bag, the same ball played by Tiger Woods and Stephen Ames, is the most sophisticated and innovative ever introduced by Nike Golf, featuring three covers for distance, control and responsiveness on the greens. There is no other ball like it on Tour.

Casey will play in the U.S. and Europe leading up to the Masters. He will begin the new season at the Sony Invitational this week. The young Brit proved in 2004 that he has an affinity for pressure situations. His best finish came at, of all places, his first Masters appearance where he tied for 6th place. His second best finish, a tie for 10th, came amongst an equally competitive field at The Players Championship. To close out 2004, Casey partnered with countryman Luke Donald to win the WGC World Cup event in Spain firing birdie after birdie on the final day amidst a swirl of controversy over false quotes and quotes taken out of context and attributed to Casey in a British tabloid just days before.

In 2001, Casey earned the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year honor on the European Tour. He won the English Amateur and the Pac-10 Championship at Arizona State University in back-to-back years (‘99 and ‘00). His victory in the 2000 Pac-10 Championships broke the previous scoring record held by Tiger Woods (18-under par) with a 23-under-par, 265. By winning, Casey also became the first player to win three successive Pac-10 Championships. While at ASU, he broke the school scoring average previously held by Phil Mickelson.

Nike Golf, located in Beaverton, Oregon, is passionately dedicated to honoring and respecting the traditions and heritage of the game, and to providing committed golfers with the absolute best equipment in the game in every product category.

For more information on Nike Golf, visit www.nikegolf.com.

Source: Nike Golf