Phoenix Open champion Kyle Stanley just smiled when the subject of his switch from Titleist to Nike was brought up at the end of the second round of the Emirates Australian Open in Sydney.
The move still has to be officially confirmed by Nike but the American will join World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Korean sensation Seung-Yul Noh and US compatriots Gary Woodland and Bill Haas in one of the biggest PGA Tour player off-season club equipment switches.
As well, Nike has lured a leading staffer from Srixon/Cleveland in a move no doubt to boost support for Woods, McIlroy and co.
Stanley had just ended his second round of the Emirates Australian Open in Sydney when asked if he could confirm his move from January 1st, 2013 to Nike.
“You know I can’t say anything,” he said breaking out into a smile.
However when Stanley was asked, and without confirming one way or the other his move, what is the biggest thing to get right when you do change clubs he remarked: “Well, if someone is thinking of changing equipment the main thing to get right is probably the ball and the woods.
“As for the irons, they are all the same these days so they should not be a concern and every manufacturer’s wedges are also pretty close.
“So the biggest aspect about any change of equipment would be the ball.”
And Stanley also has something in common with McIlroy as just like the Northern Irishman he has been using Titleist clubs since he was about 13 years of age.
Stanley is competing in Sydney for a second year running and could be pleased with himself in posting scores of 72 and 71 in very testy conditions and to be lying just five shots from the lead and with still two rounds to play.
“It’s been a pretty tough two days and just a case of trying to hang in there,” he said.
“I can’t remember too well what the conditions were like last year but I’m now l0oking forward to the weekend as I feel I am getting to know the course a whole lot better.”
Remarkably, the Emirates Australian Open is Stanley’s 31st tournament this year and when he does return to Washington State he will have just a few weeks break ahead of his first event of 2013 – the January 4th commencing Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
“It’s been a really long season for me as this is 31st event but I’m still excited to come down here to Australia,” he said.
“Last year I kind of hit a brick wall when I came to Sydney so I was keen to come back and really have another go.”
Stanley arrived in Phoenix a week after losing a five-stroke lead in the final round of preceeding week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
However he then came from eight shots behind the leader to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Stanley started the day in fifth place and shot a bogey-free six-under(-par) 65 for 15-under(-par) total for the tournament, on route to his first PGA Tour win