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Golf notebook: New year brings new equipment for Watney, Stanley

REUTERS - Nick Watney (Reuters)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>REUTERS</em></div>Nick Watney (Reuters)
ASSOCIATED PRESS - Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a ball on the 5th hole during the final round of DP World Golf Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday Nov. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>ASSOCIATED PRESS</em></div>Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a ball on the 5th hole during the final round of DP World Golf Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday Nov. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, 8:40 p.m.
 

Nick Watney was in the local Honolua Store in Kapalua, Hawaii, earlier this week when he saw a familiar face and quickly placed his hand over his chest, covering up the swoosh on his shirt. Add that to the files of worst-kept secrets.

Nike made it official Tuesday with separate announcements that it signed Watney and Kyle Stanley to equipment deals. Both had been with Titleist.

The biggest Nike acquisition in the offseason, off course, was Rory McIlroy. Nike will make that announcement in Abu Dhabi, where McIlroy will start his season in a couple of weeks. It also landed S.Y. Noh of South Korea.

The bigger surprise was Stewart Cink, who in October said he had one year left on his Nike deal, switching over to TaylorMade. Also going to TaylorMade were former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover (formerly Nike), Ryan Moore (formerly Adams Golf) and John Huh, who had been playing Ping last year but didn't have an endorsement until well after he won the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico.

Chris Kirk and Gary Woodland (both formerly Titleist) are headed to Callaway.

Watney will be using a high-speed cavity back driver and Nike VR Pro Combo irons, a similar look to the AP2 irons he used at Titleist. Stanley is using blades.

World money list

Rory McIlroy is atop the world money list published each year in the “The World of Professional Golf,” the comprehensive golf annual that was started by IMG founder Mark McCormack. The list includes money earned from every golf tournament, even unofficial events such as the Father-Son Challenge and PGA Grand Slam.

McIlroy's five wins included the PGA Championship and two FedEx Cup playoff events. He finished with $11,301,228.

Justin Rose was No. 2 with $7,897,818, even though he won only once on the PGA Tour at the Cadillac Championship at Doral. Rose also won the Turkish Airways World Golf Final, the medal-match exhibition that attracted a world-class field of eight players. Rose beat Lee Westwood in the final match to earn $1.5 million.

Tiger Woods, with three wins, was at No. 3 with $7,388,061. He was followed by Luke Donald (three wins) and Louis Oosthuizen (two wins).

Golf Digest list

Pine Valley is back to No. 1 in Golf Digest magazine's biennial list of the top 100 courses in the world. The private club in New Jersey, designed by George Crump and Harry Colt, had been replaced in the previous list by Augusta National, which this year is No. 2.

The top five remained the same, though there was some reshuffling. Cypress Point went from No. 5 to No. 3, Shinnecock Hills went from No. 3 to No. 4 and Oakmont dropped from No. 4 to No. 5.

Rounding out the top 10 were Merion (East), site of this year's U.S. Open; Pebble Beach, Winged Foot (West), Sand Hills and Fishers Island Club.

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