Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PING’s 2012 roster a blend of stars and acclaimed rookies

(PHOENIX) – The world’s No. 2-ranked player, a perennial distance champion, “The Mechanic”, and the European Tour’s top rookie are among more than 90 players on the PING Worldwide Tour Staff announced today by John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO.

The list includes many longtime staff players: No. 2 Lee Westwood; long-hitting Bubba Watson; Hunter Mahan; Mark Wilson; and Miguel Angel Jimeñez, a.k.a. “The Mechanic,” who begins his 25th year with PING. Also on the roster are major winners Angel Cabrera and Louis Oosthuizen. In addition, the club maker signed a number of highly touted rookies, notably Tom Lewis, Harris English, and Andy Sullivan.

“All of us at PING are proud to be associated with such a variety of outstanding players,” Solheim said. “It’s gratifying to have enjoyed such long histories with veterans like Lee Westwood, Bubba Watson, and Miguel Angel Jimeñez, who recently renewed his contract. At the same time, we’re looking forward to working with proven young talent like Tom Lewis and Harris English, who hold such promise. That’s a credit to PING technology, which inspires deep loyalty, and to our scouting system, which has a track record of identifying golfers at a young age who know how to win.”

The 20-year-old Lewis was low amateur at last year’s Open Championship, and the Englishman won in only his third pro start on the European Tour, which named him Rookie of the Year. His countryman and Walker Cup teammate Andy Sullivan signed with PING after a stellar amateur career in Europe. He came through European Tour Q school. Lewis and Sullivan belong to a 12-player PING men’s contingent in Europe.  

Among the 23-player PGA Tour staff for 2012 is rookie Harris English, who signed with PING after an acclaimed college career at the University of Georgia. He won on the Nationwide Tour last summer as an amateur, and earned his tour card via Q school.

Mark Calcavecchia on the Champions Tour has been with PING since the 1980s. He finished second in the Charles Schwab Cup points race in his first full season on the 50-plus circuit. He had a victory last season, while longtime PING Pro Bob Gilder claimed his 10th title on the Champions Tour, where PING will have six players.  

On the LPGA, 14 women will represent the PING brand, including Spaniard Azahara Muñoz, whose biggest prize in 2011 was winning a key singles match late on the final day to help secure Europe’s Solheim Cup victory. I.K. Kim, Angela Stanford and Maria Hjorth continue with PING, along with retired star Lorena Ochoa, who serves as PING’s global ambassador.

PING’s Tour Pro staff includes players from 20 countries competing on every major tour around the world.


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