Hunter Mahan, the current US college player of the year from Oklahoma State University, will represent Ping on Tour. He makes his professional debut today in the Centenary Western Open, where Tiger Woods will be among his rivals.
The clubs in his bag include the Si3 driver, i3+ irons, new Ping wedges and a Ping putter. He’ll also carry the Staff bag.
"Hunter’s collegiate record was second to none and we anticipate he’ll continue that success as he joins the professional ranks," says Ping’s CEO John Solheim. "Just as important, he’s a quality young man whose values are consistent with the kind of person we want associated with our brand."
In addition to earning the Jack Nicklaus and Fred Haskins Awards as college player of the year, the 21-year-old completed the 2003 college season ranked No.1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and was runner-up in the 2002 US Amateur.
It earned him an invitation to the US Masters where he led the field in driving distance using the Ping Si3 driver.
"Two years ago at college I had my first experience with Ping clubs and the Solheim family," said Mahan, the winner of eight collegiate tournaments during his career. "Ever since, my golf game has steadily improved."
"Hunter exemplifies today’s young professional," added Solheim. "He’s long off the tee, shoots for the pin and is bold with his putter."
*As well as Tiger, other rivals to the Ping rookie at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club near Chicago today are US Open champion Jim Furyk, Masters winner Mike Weir, plus Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III and defending champion Jerry Kelly.
Hunter makes Ping debut