Justin Rose is set to leave the only club sponsor he's ever head for a luxury Japanese manufacturer with little to no imprint in the United States.
According to reports from the Irish Times and the Sun, Rose will leave Taylormade for Honma Golf beginning in January. Former Taylormade Mark King, who served as Taylormade's CEO from 1999-2013, recently signed with Honma in an advisory role but is widely believed to be spearheading the company's fledgling United States operations.
The Rose signing would signify the brand's efforts to establish itself in the American market. Honma is known for his extravagant, often gold-plated clubs that frequently cost in the thousands of dollars. Terms of the potential deal were not released.
Rose signed with Taylormade when he turned professional in 1999 and has repped the brand ever since. He would be the second marquee European player to leave the brand since it was sold from Adidas to KPS Capital Partners in May 2017, as Sergio Garcia left for Callaway.
Rose was asked about his equipment situation after the Turkish Airlines Open, which he won to regain the World No. 1 ranking from Brooks Koepka. He did not confirm that a split with Taylormade was imminent but did foreshadow the breakup by saying "where there's smoke, there's fire."
Taylormade has severed ties with multiple PGA Tour players since that sale but retains deals with a number of the game's biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm.
It is not clear whether Rose will continue to wear Adidas clothing, as Honma is not a major player in the golf apparel space. Woods, McIlroy and Day all have clothing deals with Nike in addition to their Taylormade equipment deals, while Johnson and Rahm wear Adidas.