Justin Rose announces Honma split

Justin Rose Honma

Former world No.1 Justin has confirmed that he and his equipment sponsor Honma have gone their separate ways.

The announcement comes less than 18 months into what was believed to be a multi-year partnership.

In a statement, the 2013 US Open champion Rose said that both parties felt the time was right to “pursue our own paths”.

“I have enjoyed working with the Honma team and collaborating closely with them to design and develop excellent golf equipment,” added the 39-year-old. “I was able to see first-hand the innovations that the craftsmen at Honma bring to their clubs. I am hopeful that during our time of partnership, we have laid the groundwork for Honma to continue to expand their brand.”

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Speculation over Rose’s status on the Honma staff started in March when he played in the Arnold Palmer Invitational without a single one of the brand’s clubs in his bag. It was reported that his deal included a ten-club agreement.

John Kawaja, the president of Honma Golf North America, added: “We are proud to have been a key part of Justin’s journey to regain his position as world No.1 in early 2019, including a win at the Farmers Insurance Open in his second event with Honma equipment in play.

“For over a year, Justin worked closely with our team to help develop innovative and top­ performing lines of Honma woods and irons. His pursuit of perfection, approach to product testing and feedback has produced great value to Honma.”

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The January 2019 signing of Rose was hailed as a massive coup for Honma. At the time, its highest-ranked male player was Japanese ace Hideto Tanihara. Its profile in the women’s game was much stronger, where it was used on the LPGA by the likes of So Yeon Ryu and Olympic bronze medallist Shanshan Feng.

Prior to joining Honma, Rose had spent his entire professional career as an equipment ambassador for TaylorMade Golf. He appeared to be using a TaylorMade SIM driver, Cobra KING F9 Tour fairway and TaylorMade irons in the opening round of The PLAYERS Championship in March before the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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