RORY McIlroy isn’t the only player in the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship blooding new equipment today. In the week that the world No 1 joined the “Nike family”, Marc Warren has left it after ten years to go back to his roots with Callaway.
“This is the first time as a professional that I’ve used other equipment, so it’s exciting times,” said the two-times European Tour winner, who marked his return to the top table after a season on the Challenge Tour by finishing 55th in last year’s Race to Dubai.
“I used Callaway as an amateur for a while so I’ve got a bit of history, I suppose, there. Of all the stuff that I tested after the World Championship in Dubai last year, Callaway was the best for me, so it was a pretty easy decision.”
A ball that is “stable in the air” and having an Odyssey putter in his bag are two of the reasons Warren is confident that, like McIlroy, he isn’t taking a major gamble heading into his first start of 2013 in the UAE capital.
“I was really comfortable with the Odyssey putter,” he added. “I used one as an amateur and I used one when I was second in the putting rankings. Hopefully I can make it No 1 this year.”
The switch also allows Warren, who is among 12 Scots in this week’s field, to have corporate logos on his clothing for the first time in his professional career as Nike only permit their staff players to have the ‘Swoosh’.
Still sporting that is Scott Jamieson, the man who has set the early-season standard for the Scots by finishing first, third and second in his opening three events to lead the Race to Dubai.
“He’s had a great start to the year,” said fellow Glaswegian Warren. “I’ll need to put the foot on the gas to catch up.”
While pleased to see Paul McGinley get the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy, Warren said he’d like to have seen a Scot get the job but picked out Paul Lawrie rather than Colin Montgomerie
Warren said: “Paul Lawrie, being a major winner and a multiple winner on Tour, would have been my choice. He would have been perfect at Gleneagles.”
On Montgomerie, Warren added: “I think he has done his bit – and he has done such a good job. It would have been a bit like a football manager going back to an old club.”