Titleist and Els part ways


Ernie Els has ended his endorsement relationship with Titleist, shortly before his five-year deal would have expired at the end of the year, fueling speculation that he will sign a new contract with Callaway Golf.

“Acushnet Company has reached a mutual business decision with Ernie Els to release him from his equipment contract effective immediately,” said Joe Gomes, Titleist’s spokesman.

Els’ images were removed from the Titleist Web site earlier this week. Els used Titleist clubs, ball and wore a Titleist glove and FootJoy shoes. His departure was said to be amicable. Titleist let Phil Mickelson out of his contract early in 2004, and he signed with Callaway. Els is believed to be going to Callaway, too, although spokeswoman Michele Szynal said Callaway does not have a deal with the world’s No. 6 player.

“We have not signed Ernie Els,” she said. “We have made no announcement.”

Els, who turns 38 this fall, had endorsed Titleist and FootJoy products since 2003.

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