Toy Box notes: Stricker triumphs with Titleist gear

Steve Stricker celebrates after holing out a shot from the fairway for an eagle on the second hole during the third round of the Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Saturday, June 4, 2011, in Dublin, Ohio.

Steve Stricker celebrates after holing out a shot from the fairway for an eagle on the second hole during the third round of the Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Saturday, June 4, 2011, in Dublin, Ohio.

Stricker triumphs with Titleist gear: Remember when Steve Stricker went into a severe driving slump in the mid-1990s? Battling what is commonly called “driver yips,” Stricker lost his game and seriously considered retirement. Now, he is arguably the most consistent player on the PGA Tour. And his driver? Stricker won the Memorial Tournament with a Titleist 909D3 driver (8.5 degree). He averaged 295.6 yards off the tee (35th) and hit 80.4 percent of fairways (T-3). At Memorial, Stricker used the same bag configuration that has catapulted him into the spotlight – Titleist Pro V1x ball, 13 Titleist clubs – 906F2 fairway wood (13 degree), 909H hybrid (19 degree), AP2 irons (3-PW), Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges (54, 60 degree). He used an Odyssey White Hot No. 2 putter.

Lefty’s 2-iron goes to Washington: Phil Mickelson said he likely will carry an 18-degree Callaway X-Tour Authentic Utility Iron, though his is bent slightly stronger, at the upcoming U.S. Open. His mission is accuracy off the tee on the tight Open fairways. “It hadn’t quite worked right until I bent it, tweaked it a little bit,” he said. “I’ve been experimenting the last few weeks trying to get the right 2-iron that flies about 255 or so off the tee, which is kind of what I’m gunning for. I think this one is dialed in just about right.”

A higher trajectory for Johnson: At the Memorial, Dustin Johnson adjusted his TaylorMade R11 driver (10.5 degree with a Fujikura Motore F1 shaft) from the Lower FCT (flight control technology) mark to the setting that lies between Lower and Standard FCT. This gave him a slightly higher trajectory, and he was able to draw the ball more easily. It also seemed to get rid of Johnson’s typical miss, which is low right.

Short shots: It was a good weekend for Titleist’s Pro V1 balls. Not only did Stricker win on the PGA Tour, but Bob Gilder (Pro V1) was victorious on the Champions Tour, as was Brittany Lincicome (Pro V1x) on the LPGA and Steve Wheatcroft (Pro V1x) on the Nationwide Tour. The Pro V1x also won on the South African, Japan, Korean and Canadian tours. . . . All five players for Augusta State, winner of the NCAA men’s title for the second consecutive year, used white-headed TaylorMade drivers (either R11or Burner SuperFast 2.0) and Penta TP balls.

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