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Volume 25 No. 152
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Reports: Justin Rose Leaving TaylorMade For Japanese Brand

Rose has been sponsored by TaylorMade for his entire 20-year professional career
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Longtime TaylorMade Golf endorser Justin Rose "will start the new year playing clubs made by the Japanese equipment manufacturer Honma Golf," as TaylorMade is "opting to sign younger players," according to sources cited by Alex Miceli of MORNINGREAD.com. The path for TaylorMade is also why it "did not re-sign" longtime staffer Sergio Garcia after the '17 season. When asked about potentially changing equipment next year, Rose said, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Miceli noted Rose’s Adidas apparel deal also "expires at the end of this year and likely will not be renewed" (MORNINGREAD.com, 11/5). The IRISH TIMES reported Rose in '19 will play Honma irons but "will still use TaylorMade’s ball and woods" (IRISHTIMES.com, 11/5). GOLF DIGEST's Mike Stachura notes Rose is "leaving the only equipment company he has known in his 20-year professional career." Neither Rose’s agent, Mark Steinberg, nor TaylorMade, "responded to requests for clarification" on Rose’s endorsement contracts for '19. Honma recently announced that former TaylorMade President & CEO Mark King "would be joining the company as a consultant, although it is widely believed that King will be running Honma’s operation in North America." Rose "might have been a tough fit going forward for TaylorMade," as the company already has "more top-ranked players in its endorsement stable than any other golf brand," including Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm (GOLFDIGEST.com, 11/7). Meanwhile, Lamkin will launch a signature grip line for Rose next year (Lamkin).