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Home Callaway Golf gets its man

 

Up until now, golf has been waiting on Rory McIlroy to sign with Nike Golf. Its believed Monday will be the day they finally come forward and announce their new forged relationship. However, quietly there were rumors circulating that Callaway Golf had another young, proven player in their sights. As the old saying goes, where there is smoke, often there is fire and Callaway confirmed it has signed Ryo Ishikawa to a multi-year contract. Ishikawa, the bashful prince as he is often referred to in his native country, has already become a ten-time winner on the Japanese Tour by the age of 21.

“I am very happy to join the Callaway team,” said Ishikawa in a company release. “I believe the wonderful innovation and support Callaway gives to its many great staff players with help me grow as I compete on the PGA Tour this year.”

Ishikawa played several events on the PGA Tour for the first time in 2009 and caught the attention of the American golf community at the 2010 U.S. Open, with his pink attire and low scores. Further endearing himself across the globe, Ishikawa announced in March 2011 that he would donate his 2011 tour earnings – plus an additional 100,000-yen for every birdie he made – to the Japan earthquake relief efforts.

“Ryo is an exciting, young international talent who has proven he can compete and win at the highest level,” said Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Office, Callaway Golf. “And not only is he an accomplished golfer, Ryo is an extraordinary and generous young man. We are proud that he has chosen our products for their exceptional performance, and we are excited to welcome Ryo to Team Callaway.”

Perhaps the best news for Callaway and American golf is that Ishikawa officially became a member of the PGA Tour in March 2012. His first event in 2013 as a Callaway staff professional will be the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif., followed by the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, Calif. Callaway said Ishikawa will play its new RAZR Fit Xtreme Driver and the Odyssey putters he has relied on throughout his career, including nine of his professional victories. Beyond the equipment, the Saitama, Japan native will wear Callaway-branded apparel, caps, gloves and footwear. Terms of the contract will not be disclosed.