Valero Texas Open champion Zach Johnson won his fifth PGA Tour event in 26 months with his third different SeeMore putter.
All three SeeMores are members of the same FGP family (the FGP is the original SeeMore). Johnson’s newest putter, which he put into play for the first time at the Players Championship, is the recently introduced FGP Stainless, which retails for $185.
Choices abound for this putter. It is available in blade or mallet, black or nickel satin finish, and straight or offset shaft. Johnson used the blade version with black satin finish and straight shaft.
Johnson shot 60 in the third round and became the first Tour player to record two career rounds of 60 or better.
Three other players – Briny Baird, Matthew Loving and Greg Owen – used the SeeMore M1 belly putter in the Texas Open.
>> Who says the long-hitters always win?
Johnson is known as a short hitter, relatively speaking, as are Paul Goydos (T-3 at the Valero) and Justin Leonard (T-5).
Johnson ranked 47th in driving distance (295.8 yards) among 75 players who made the Texas Open cut. Goydos was 50th (294.4 yards).
Leonard, who used a 46-inch Nike STR8-FIT driver (9.5 degrees) with an X-flex Accra Axiv Orange shaft, busted the 300-yard barrier (300.3 yards) but still ranked 31st.
Dustin Johnson led the field in driving distance at 325.1 yards, yet tied for 24th in the tournament.
>> Need more evidence that distance is not everything? Looking at the LPGA Tour, Cristie Kerr is No. 1 on the 2009 money list ($718,905) and No. 2 in scoring average (70.32).
Kerr’s driving average for the year? It’s just 253.3 yards.
Kerr also could be a cover girl for individualism in golf. In this, the age of hybrids, she does not carry a single hybrid in her bag.
Kerr uses a Ping G10 driver (9 degree), along with three Ping Rapture V2 fairway woods (16-degree 3-wood, 19-degree 5-wood, 22-degree 7-wood).
Her irons (4-PW) are Callaway X-16 Pro Series. She has two Scratch wedges (54 and 60 degree, bent to 52 and 58 degree, respectively) and an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter. Her ball is the 2009 version of the Titleist Pro V1.
>> Goydos carried 14 TaylorMade clubs in his bag at the Texas Open. He also had Aldila NV graphite shafts in four of them – the NV65 in his driver (9.5-degree R9) and 3-wood (Burner 13-degree), along with the NV Hybrid 85 in two hybrids (Rescue TP, 17 degree and 21 degree).
Goydos switched back to a TaylorMade Monza Spider putter at the Texas Open. He has shuffled between TaylorMade and Odyssey putters.
>> TaylorMade last week formally introduced the new Monza Spider Bolero putter, which has been extensively tested by Sean O’Hair and several other players.
The hallmark of the Bolero is its “ball-in-cup” aiming feature. At address, the image of the ball resting in front of the clubface works in conjunction with a white line on Balero’s crown and a round hole through the back.
>> TaylorMade edged past Titleist in the iron count. The two companies have been battling closely all year, with Titleist on top, although TaylorMade won this one by a 42-40 count.
Titleist, with Bob Vokey designing custom wedges for Tour players, has thrashed the competition all year in the wedge count. At the Valero, Titleist totaled 194 wedges to 75 for runner-up TaylorMade. Cleveland, once the leader in Tour usage, was third with 70.
Adams won the Texas Open hybrid count with 45 in play, but that total seemed small compared with the Nationwide Tour count. At the BMW Charity Pro-Am, 105 Adams hybrids were in play. This is believed to be the first time a manufacturer has surpassed 100 in any PGA Tour, Champions Tour or Nationwide Tour event.
>> Rife, which always states that no players are paid to use its putters, is accumulating some impressive usage numbers on several tours.
Not only did Rife take the putter count at the Regions Charity Classic on the Champions Tour with 23 in play, but the same week it also had 12 in use on the LPGA Tour, 11 on the Nationwide Tour, and 9 on the PGA Tour.
Keith Fergus rode a Rife 2 Bar Blade to the winner’s circle in the Regions event. Furthermore, on the Duramed Futures Tour, Elisa Serramia used a Rife 2 Bar Hybrid Mallet putter in capturing the Mercedes-Benz Championship presented by Zurich.
>> Slotline was one of the most popular putters in golf in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Now it is attempting a comeback.
At the Regions Charity Classic, Morris Hatalsky and Tom Wargo used the Slotline SS-384 mallet.
>> With three playoff winners on three different tours (PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and PGA European Tour), it was a big week for Titleist. The three champions carried 41 Titleist clubs among their total of 42 clubs.
The only exception was Johnson’s SeeMore putter.
Amateur Shane Lowry on the European Tour and Michael Sim on the Nationwide Tour each had 14 Titleist clubs.
Both Sim and Johnson chose Diamana shafts for their drivers, Sim using the Diamana Whiteboard and Johnson playing the softer Diamana Blueboard. Sim had an old 905R Titleist driver, while Johnson used the new 909 D2 driver.