Stanford educations typically pay off. While many Stanford graduates go on to become founders of Silicon Valley startups while wearing t-shirts, jeans and flip flops, former Stanford golfers Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson have inked deals to start up their careers in Nike Golf and IZOD Golf apparel.
Patrick Rodgers' list of achievements at Stanford is about as tall as the university's famous Hoover Tower. The 21 year old was the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world and the 2014 PAC-12 Player of the Year. He set a single-season scoring record this year and played on the last two Walker Cup teams.
Rodgers also broke Stanford's record for the lowest career stroke average, previously held by Tiger Woods (you may have heard of him), by nearly a shot, and tied this Woods guy with 11 victories. Tying another record.
If that wasn't enough, Rodgers took home the 2014 Haskins Award -- the equivalent of college football's Heisman Trophy -- plus the Ben Hogan Award and the Jack Nicklaus Award. This is just downright greedy and selfish if you ask me.
For Rodgers, this deal means he gets to start his professional career with apparel and equipment that he has had success with (Stanford is a Nike apparel school and he won five of his last seven collegate tournaments after putting Swoosh sticks in his bag). Expect to see Rodgers in head-to-toe Nike gear, including Lunar Control and TW'14 footwear.
For Nike Golf, this is another promising young gun that it has added to its stable over the last 18 months. Clearly the brand has made an effort to sign young, up and coming stars and it has paid off. At the beginning of 2013, Nike Golf snatched up the likes of Russell Henley, Sung Yul Noh and Thorbjorn Olesen. Henley has since won two PGA Tour titles and Noh captured the Zurich Classic a few weeks ago. Throw in Kevin Chappell, Jamie Lovemark and Kevin Tway and the Swoosh has an impressive roster of 20-somethings.
Rodgers' former Stanford teammate, Cameron Wilson, sported IZOD Golf apparel last week at Pinehurst, so it wasn't surprising when he signed on with the brand. Wilson captured the 2014 NCAA Championship just a few weeks ago and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the amateur rankings.
Wilson possesses that young, All-American look that is a perfect fit for the IZOD Golf brand. Expect to see him sporting IZOD Golf shirts, pants and belts on the course.
"This is a big day for my career, as I transition from amateur to professional and having an iconic golf brand such as IZOD in my corner from day one is a thrill," said Wilson. "I'm looking forward to working with Team IZOD and honored to join Webb, Scott and Spencer on their pro roster."
In their pro debuts at the Travelers Championship this past week, Patrick Rodgers finished T46 and Cameron Wilson missed the cut.