Chips & Putts: Top Amateur Golfers Turn Pro, Sign Equipment Deals
GOLF DIGEST STIX' Mike Stachura notes four top amateurs golfers -- Matthew Fitzpatrick, Patrick Rodgers, Cameron Wilson and Bobby Wyatt -- have all "turned pro this week" and each begins his new career "with corporate support." Wilson will be sponsored by Callaway, and Rodgers will be a "Nike staffer." Wyatt signed with Titleist, and "makes his pro debut with Wilson and Rodgers at the Travelers Championship." Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick, who "wore Under Armour clothes while earning low am honors at the U.S. Open, is expected to unveil his sponsors soon" (GOLF DIGEST STIX, 6/18 issue).
BE OUR GUEST: The AP's Pat Eaton-Robb noted Travelers Championship organizers "left two gift packages" at a hotel for Bubba Watson's family. The gifts are part of a "carefully designed recruiting package targeting the families and caddies of PGA Tour players." Tournament Dir Nathan Grube said that the idea is "to make the tournament an attractive destination for them, and therefore more attractive to the players, who might otherwise want to take a break the week after the U.S. Open." Once they are here, the "caddies receive wind jackets, free dry cleaning all week, and a party in their honor." The players' wives "get a beach bag filled with wine and chocolate and a spa day in West Hartford" (AP, 6/18).
THREE'S COMPANY: In St. Paul, Joe Bissen noted Minnesota-based 3M yesterday announced it has "extended its contract as title sponsor" of the Champions Tour 3M Championship "for four more years" through '17. This year's roster will "include a 'Big Three' of legendary golf figures: Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus." The trio will "take part in the tournament's Greats of Golf competition Aug. 2, the Saturday of tournament week" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/17).