Toy Box: Rose uses Spider Blade for Open win

Justin Rose celebrates on the 13th green during the final round of the 113th U.S. Open.
Justin Rose celebrates on the 13th green during the final round of the 113th U.S. Open. ( Getty Images )

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Justin Rose became the first English golfer to win a U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin won at Hazeltine National in 1970. His all-TaylorMade bag: TaylorMade R1 driver (9.5 degree, with a Matrix Ozik 6M3 Black Tie shaft), RocketBallz Stage 2 Tour HL fairway wood (16.5 degree, with a Matrix Ozik 7M3 Black Tie shaft), RocketBladez Tour (3-6) and Tour Preferred MB (7-PW) irons with KBS C-Taper shafts, ATV wedges (52, 56 and 60 degree, with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts), TaylorMade Spider Blade putter. He played a TaylorMade Lethal golf ball.

Rose’s Spider Blade was a 37-inch, counter-balanced model. Previously, he had used a 34-inch version. Rose said the switch enabled him to be more comfortable putting with a taller posture.

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Long irons in demand at Merion: A predictable trend at the U.S. Open was the addition of long irons by several players.

Three TaylorMade staffers made the move: Stewart Cink played a RocketBladez Tour 3-iron bent to 2-iron loft at 1-iron length. John Senden added a RocketBladez Tour 2-iron. Jason Day played a Tour Preferred MC 2-iron.

Meanwhile, Cobra staff member Rickie Fowler added a Cobra AMP Forged 3-iron to his bag, removing an AMP Cell 3-hybrid. Nike’s Charl Schwartzel went with the VR Pro Combo 2-iron in place of his VR Pro Limited Edition 5-wood. Shawn Stefani carried two Mizuno 3-irons, one delofted to 18 degree. He plans keep both in his bag for the rest of the season.

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Poulter takes a cue from Hogan: There is the famous quote from Ben Hogan – “There are no 7-iron shots at Merion” – explaining why he did not carry his 7-iron in the 1950 U.S. Open.

After two rounds at Merion, Ian Poulter banished his 7-iron, adding a 50-degree Cobra AMP Cell Pro gap wedge in its place. Poulter normally alternates between a Cobra AMP Cell 5-wood and the gap wedge, but ultimately he decided to use both at Merion.

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KBS shafts’ major run: Three of the last four major champions have used KBS steel shafts in their irons: Ernie Els in the 2012 Open Championship (KBS Tour X flex), Adam Scott in the 2013 Masters (KBS Tour X flex), and Justin Rose (KBS C-Taper S+ flex).

Rose switched to KBS C-Taper in September 2011 and has won three times since.

Phil Mickelson, who tied for second at Merion, had a combination of KBS Tour and KBS Tour V2 shafts in his irons.

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Matrix shafts figure prominently: In addition to U.S. Open champion Justin Rose carrying two Matrix shafts, runner-up Jason Day had the company’s shafts in his woods.

Day used an Ozik TP7HD shaft in his TaylorMade R1 driver and an Ozik TP7D in his TaylorMade RBZ Tour 4-wood.

The company is introducing a fitting system for hybrids. The Altus line of hybrids shafts is being expanded – with new models available in late July – and the Matrix Flight System is intended to provide a simple, reliable method of fitting these shafts to individual golfers.

Previously, Matrix offered its Flight System for identifying wood shafts for players.

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Short shots: A total of 77 players in the field of 156 carried at least one Titleist Bob Vokey wedge. . . . Titleist won its first U.S. Open ball count in 1949 and has been the most played golf ball in the national championship for 65 consecutive years. . . . Rory McIlroy changed the shaft in his Nike VR_S Covert Tour driver (10.5 degree), going with a Kuro Kage prototype shaft from Mitsubishi Rayon. The shaft is TiNickel (it contains titanium and nickel fiber) and weighs 70 grams. . . . Geoff Sisk, 48 and a six-time winner of the Massachusetts Open, shot 78-75 and missed the cut by five strokes. In his bag were three demo clubs retrieved from a barrel at Marshfield (Mass.) Country Club: a Titleist 910 driver, an Adams 9031 3-hybrid and a Titleist 913H hybrid (17 degree). “I think more golfers should pick their clubs one at a time and find something they really like,” Sisk said. . . . Mitsubishi Rayon captured the driver and total wood shaft counts at the U.S. Open. . . . Low amateur Michael Kim had a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Kai’li in his Titleist 913D3 driver (8.5 degree).

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By the numbers

Here are the equipment leaders from the U.S. Open:

Balls: Titleist 97, TaylorMade 23, Nike 13, Srixon 11, Callaway 8, Bridgestone 4

Drivers: TaylorMade 60, Titleist 32, Ping 18, Nike 14, Callaway 12, Cleveland 12

Fairway woods: TaylorMade 79, Titleist 33, Callaway 26, Ping 23, Nike 18

Hybrids: Adams 29, Titleist 28, TaylorMade 20, Ping 13

Utility irons: Titleist 13, Mizuno 4, Callaway 3

Irons: Titleist 37, TaylorMade 37, Ping 20, Callaway 14, Nike 14

Wedges (sand, lob, approach): Titleist 159, Cleveland 42, TaylorMade 42, Ping 38, Callaway 35, Nike 32

Putters: Odyssey 50, Titleist 46, Ping 20, TaylorMade 14, Nike 11

Gloves: FootJoy 60, Titleist 30, TaylorMade 23, Nike 14

Shoes: FootJoy 94, Adidas 27, Nike 19 readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.