Tiger Woods and Nike are close to signing a deal

It would be hard to imagine Tiger Woods stalking the links in anything but the Swoosh that has adorned his hat and shirt since he turned pro in 1996, and it appears we won't have to think about that anytime soon.

ESPN's Bob Harig talked with Tiger's agent, Mark Steinberg, who confirmed that the No. 1 golfer in the world is close to signing a new deal with Nike that would keep him in the Swoosh and Frees for a very long time and keep him atop the earnings list for professional golfers.

"We're down to the very, very short strokes right now," Steinberg said. "I would expect we would come out with some sort of joint announcement when we get the paperwork signed. I hope this is viewed as a pretty bold statement."

It seems like a no-brainer to keep Tiger if you are Nike, especially considering how he's played this season. Woods is just one of two PGA Tour players with multiple wins this season (Tiger has four, Matt Kuchar has two), and has jumped back to the top spot in the world rankings thanks to his play in 2012 and '13.

On top of that, Woods would ink a deal months after Nike announced the addition of Rory McIlory, the second ranked golfer in the world and heir apparent to Woods in terms of "the next big thing in golf."

The ESPN report says the new deal could be done before next week's U.S. Open, and while no numbers were discussed, some think his last deal, signed in '06, paid Woods somewhere between $20-40 million a year.

So the marriage seems to continue between Woods and Nike. Not a bad deal for either if you consider both are the biggest names in what they do.

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