Chris Williams is the newest Nike Golf staffer. (Getty Images)
Heralded college star set for pro debut at Travelers | Interview
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Top-ranked amateur Chris Williams will make his professional debut this week at the Travelers Championship with a Swoosh on his shirt, after Nike Golf announced on Wednesday that the University of Washington product would be joining its roster.
“Joining the Nike family is a dream come true," Williams said. "They have the most talented athletes and I am excited to be a part of this elite group,” Williams said. “I am especially impressed with my new equipment and with the engineers at The Oven. Their passion and knowledge is amazing. I am excited about taking my game to new heights at the professional level with Nike Golf.”
During his time in college, Williams won the 2012 Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world’s top-ranked amateur, and the 2013 Ben Hogan award, given annually to the top men’s player in college and amateur events over a 12-month period. He also captured the prestigious 2012 Western Amateur and currently holds the Washington record with six individual victories.
“We are thrilled to add Chris to our Nike Golf staff,” said Mark Thaxton, Global Director of Sports Marketing Operations at Nike Golf. “With his incredible success at the collegiate level, we are confident he will prosper as a professional golfer. We are looking forward to what Chris’ future has in store.”
Williams isn't the first high-profile amateur to make his professional debut at the Travelers Championship. Last year, Patrick Cantlay, who was the top-ranked amateur in the world at the time, turned pro at the very same event.
Just like Cantlay, Williams also signed on with Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management. Steinberg's most notable client is Tiger Woods.
As far as clubs are concerned, Williams, who still uses a 10-finger grip from his days playing baseball, will use Nike's VR_S Cover Tour driver (9.5 degrees Neutral), VR Pro Combo irons (2-PW) and 20XI ball. He'll also sport Nike's Lunar Control shoe and the Tour Performance Collection.