Kyle Stanley, winner of the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and Nick Watney, winner of the 2012 Barclays, will join Nike's 2013 Tour staff, according to Nike. Both players had previously used and endorsed Titleist equipment.
Nike also told Golf.com that the company is planning to make a major announcement Jan. 14 in Abu Dhabi, where Rory McIlroy will begin his 2013 season. According to the Associated Press, the major announcement will be McIlroy’s signing, which has been the subject of much off-season speculation.
Both Stanley and Watney are expected to use Nike VR_S Covert driver along with several other Nike clubs and the company's 20XI golf ball this week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in Hawaii.
Watney is expected to have 14 Nike clubs in his bag, and Stanley plans to use 13. A native of Gig Harbor, Wash., Stanley plans to keep his Scotty Cameron for Titleist putter in the bag for now. Both golfers will also wear Nike apparel and footwear.
Stanley didn't finish his 2012 season until early December at the Australian Open, but he said he felt comfortable with his new driver and fairway woods after working for two days at Nike's testing center in Fort Worth, Texas.
"I love the new Covert driver," Stanley said in a phone interview. "The driver is where I saw the biggest change. I picked up about five more miles per hour of ball speed, which is quite a bit."
RELATED GALLERY: Close-up photos of the new Nike VR_S Covert driver
Although he had never played Kapalua's Plantation Course before this week, Stanley has played it three times in practice rounds and said he is amazed at how well his new Nike 20XI X ball holds its line in the strong Pacific breezes.
"It spins a little bit less for me, which means that I should have a little bit more control," he said. "From 130 yards and in, the ball just doesn't spin as much with my wedges, which allows me to be a little more aggressive."
Below is a complete list of the clubs that Stanley and Watney plan to use this week:
Driver: Nike VR_S Covert 9.5°
Fairway Wood: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition (15°)
Irons: Nike VR Pro Combo (2), VR Pro Blades (3-9)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro (52°, 56°, 60°)
Ball: Nike 20XI X
Driver: Nike VR_S Covert (11.5°)
Fairway Woods: Nike VR_S Covert (14°, 18°)
Irons: Nike VR Pro Combo (3-PW)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro (55°, 59°)
Putter: Nike Method Prototype
Ball: Nike 20XI