When Tiger Woods arrived in Augusta for a practice round before making his “playing time decision” on whether to play the Masters, there was one striking thing apparent.

More: Tiger Woods pictured at the Augusta driving range

What is striking is the fact that 15-time major champion Woods was spotted wearing a pair of black FootJoy Premiere Series Packards as he cut a few wedges before smashing his TaylorMade Stealth driver.

Now, that might not seem like a big deal. Except it kinda does. Woods, as you may know, is a loyal Nike employee. For decades.

Ever since his “hello world” press conference after turning pro in 1996, Woods has worn Nike.

His last extension to his deal with Nike was signed in 2013 and is said to be worth around $200 million.

Woods’ first contract which he signed with Nike 26 years ago was worth around $40 million.

So for him to come back to Augusta National on the brink of his biggest comeback with FootJoy was a bit of a surprise.

Nike released a statement to ESPN’s Michael Collins, saying: “Like golf fans everywhere, we are thrilled to see Tiger back on the course.

“He’s an incredible athlete, and it’s phenomenal to see him back in the game at this level.

“His story continues to transcend the sport and inspire us all. As he continues his comeback, we will work with him to meet his new needs.”

Related: Bridgestone’s Complete History On Tiger Woods Golf Balls

Speculation was that Woods’ Nike pods did not meet a need for comfort due to the injuries he suffered in his car accident.

FootJoy released a statement, but it appears to have been hastily deleted.

Woods has also gone out of gear standard in a few other areas over the years.

The grip used on his famous Scotty Cameron putter is not by Cameron. It’s from Ping because he prefers their rubber grip. It just blocks the Ping logo.

Woods also left his Nike pilot in 2003 at the Deutsche Bank SAP Open in Germany.

This was following Phil Mickelson’s comment that Woods was playing with “inferior equipment”.

At the time, Woods decided to use a TaylorMade R510 rider on the final run. He eventually returned to his Nike pilot.

Elsewhere, Woods has let the spade out of the bag with one of golf’s worst-kept secrets. Bridgestone has manufactured its Nike golf balls for several years.

He is currently playing Bridgestone’s Tour B XS.

Nike exited the hardware business in 2016 but opted to stay in the apparel business.

Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy – as well as Woods – remain on their roster.

Watch this place.

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