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Golfs hot stove heats up

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As the baseball world awaits the fate of the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, golf’s version of the “hot stove” also holds some intrigue as a few of the game’s biggest names shop their talents on the open market.

Among the “off season’s” biggest potential moves is Davis Love III, who reportedly has signed on with Bridgestone after a career with Titleist, and FedEx Cup champion Jim Furyk, who is headed to a TaylorMade-adidas driver deal from Srixon.

Graeme McDowell, the U.S. Open champion and co-European Tour Player of the Year, also appears poised to cash in on a career year. Sources have told “Shag Bag” the Northern Irishman is considering a move from Callaway to Cleveland Golf/Srixon.


Others rumored to be headed to new endorsement deals in 2011 are Charles Howell III (from Bridgestone to Mizuno), Jeff Overton (from Mizuno to Cleveland Golf /Srixon), Camilo Villegas (from Cobra Golf to TaylorMade-addidas) and Players Championship winner Tim Clark (from Srixon to Titleist).

Clark’s potential move is interesting because of Wednesday’s announcement that Fortune Brands would be selling or spinning off Acushnet Company, the parent company of Titleist and FootJoy. Although any potential deal for Acushnet is likely months, if not years away, there were rumors last week that Nike Golf and TaylorMade-adidas would have a strong interest in what would become, essentially, a monopoly on the golf ball market in North America.