By E. Michael Johnson
TaylorMade Golf announced on Monday that it has “mutually agreed” to end its relationship with this year’s Masters champion, Sergio Garcia, with the company releasing the Spaniard from the remaining years of his contract.
The news does not come as a huge surprise to those in the industry as there have been whispers of Garcia possibly going to Callaway. Speculation was further fueled with Garcia’s recent use of an Odyssey Toulon Design putter and Callaway wedges.
The move also makes sense in that TaylorMade has a large investment in endorsement deals with tour players, and with the sale of the company to KPS Capital Partners in May, the new owners might have wanted to shed some of that payroll.
For years Garcia carried the load as the company’s international icon, but with the addition of Rory McIlroy earlier this year, that role is filled. Garcia had been with TaylorMade since 2003, leaving Titleist to join the company. During his time with TaylorMade, Garcia won 19 times internationally including the Players as well as this year’s Masters.