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Baddeley the latest to sign Nike deal

Australian golfer Aaron Baddeley signed a three-year golf ball, shoe and glove agreement with Nike Golf on Monday.

The 19-year-old rising star captured the Greg Norman Holden International last month to cement his position at the top of the Australasian Tour's money list in his first season as a professional. He also was the runaway winner of the Australasian Tour Rookie of the Year honor.

"We're extremely proud of Aaron's accomplishments," said Kel Devlin, the director of sports marketing for Nike Golf. "He was the first player outside the U.S. to play the Tour Accuracy TW golf ball, and he's been one of the most consistent performers on the Australasian Tour ever since. He's only beginning to tap his potential for becoming a major force in international play."

Baddeley successfully defended his title late last year at the 2000 Australian Open. He first won the event as an amateur in 1999.

Since the Holden event was co-sanctioned by the European and Australasian tours, his win there earned him exempt status on the European Tour for the next three seasons.

"I'm looking forward to building on my success and playing in European and U.S. PGA Tour events," Baddeley said.

Aaron Baddeley chips from the rough at the recent ANZ Tour Championship. Allsport.

Last season, Baddeley became the first amateur to receive a special invitation to the Masters since 1976. He missed the 36-hole cut by one stroke.

Baddeley was born in New Hampshire before his family moved back to Australia when he was two-years old. He holds dual American and Australian citizenship.

David Duval became the first player to agree to use the entire Nike Golf product line when the two parties reached a deal last week. Duval is currently being sued for breach of his endorsement contract with Titleist. He has since filed a counterclaim.

World No. 1 Tiger Woods, who switched to the Nike ball in June, recently signed a contract extension with Nike Golf for about $20 million a year.

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