Nike Fires Back at Mickelson


Nike golf officials responded Wednesday to remarks made by Phil Mickelson in which he said the company makes inferior equipment.
In terms of the driving statistics, Tiger moved up in all three of the driving statistics that are listed and Phil moved backward last year, said Bob Wood, the president of Nike golf.
So the facts dont bear out what Mickelson is asserting at all.
Mickelson was quoted in the recent issue of Golf Magazine that he and world No. 1 Tiger Woods get along well and have only one discerning issue.
He hates that I can fly it past him now. He has a faster swing speed than I do, but he has inferior equipment. Tiger is the only player who is good enough to overcome the equipment hes stuck with, Mickelson said.
Mickelson has been using the Titleist 983K driver and ProV1x ball since December. He is currently second on the tour in driving distance at 312 yards. Ernie Els, who is using the same equipment, is first in the distance department, at 319 yards, and has three wins around the world.
Woods, who has not played this year due to knee surgery on Dec. 12, has endorsed Nike since joining the PGA Tour in 1996. He made the switch from Titleist to Nike driver and irons last year.
Woods has won six majors with the Nike ball, two of which came with a Nike driver. He set a scoring record in his first event with the companys irons.
Since he turned professional in 1996, Tiger has 34 PGA Tour victories, including eight majors, compared with 12 wins and no majors for Mickelson in the same period.
In a statement released by Gaylord Sports Management, who represents the worlds No. 3 ranked player, Mickelson said his comment was not a challenge to Woods.
The line was taken as a knock on a manufacturer rather than a comment on Tigers ability and incredible talent, which it was meant to be, he said.
'I have great respect for Tiger.'
The statement said Mickelson's quote in Golf Magazine was in reference to when he and Woods played together in the second round of the 2002 Target World Challenge.
Mickelson was impressed with the distance he got off the tee while testing his new Titleist driver, though he shot 74 to Tiger's 65.
'Last year, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods played in the same event 14 times. Tiger finished ahead of Phil 12 of those times. Tiger won five of those tournaments, including two majors; Phil won none,' Nike's Wood pointed out.
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