PINEHURST, N.C. – Martin Kaymer opened the U.S. with back-to-back 65s. He also carried back-to-back 3-irons.
That another way of saying that, yes, Kaymer is playing Pinehurst No. 2 with two 3-irons.
They look identical – same TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC (Muscle Cavity) heads, same True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue steel shafts.
However, one of the 3-irons has been turned into a 2-iron. Its stock loft of 20 degrees was bent to 17 degrees. He’s using both mainly off the tee.
D.A. Points recently switched to these new TaylorMade SLDR irons and has them in the bag again in Pinehurst for the 2014 U.S. Open.
Keegan Bradley uses the Cleveland CG 7 Tour irons that he brought to Pinehurst for the 2014 U.S. Open, but off the tee on long par 4s and into the green on long par 5s, he often uses his 588 TT iron.
Bradley’s Cleveland Forged 588 sand wedge, spotted at Pinehurst for the 2014 U.S. Open, has lots of custom stamping.
Look for Adam Scott to use this Titleist 712U 2-iron off the tee at Pinehurst during the 2014 U.S. Open.
Around the green, Scott relies on these Titleist Vokey Design SM5 wedges he brought to Pinehurst for the 2014 U.S. Open.
Luke Donald plays Mizuno’s MP-64 irons, which he brought to Pinehurst for the 2014 U.S. Open, but off the tee he often reaches for his MP-H4 utility iron.
Hunter Mahan’s Ping S55 irons shined brightly under the North Carolina sun in Pinehurst on Wednesday before the start of the 2014 U.S. Open.
Ian Poulter has these colorful Cobra AMP Cell Pro irons in his bag at Pinehurst for the 2014 U.S. Open.
Sergio Garcia will try to win his first major this week at Pinehurst during the 2014 U.S. Open using these TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons.
Germany’s Marcel Siem switched to the Wilson Staff FG Tour V2 irons before the start of the 2014 season.
Rory McIlroy plays Nike VR Pro Blade irons and VR Forged wedges for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Y.E. Yang has TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons along with a colorfully-stamped Titleist SM4 lob wedge for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Graeme McDowell had several Srixon Z-525 prototype irons in his bag Tuesday while practicing for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Henrik Stenson uses these Callaway Legacy Black irons for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Jason Dufner will be trying to win his second major championship this week using these Titleist 714 AP2 irons and Vokey Design wedges at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Jim Furyk plays Callaway Razr X Forged irons for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Furyk used a counterbalanced Odyssey Versa 2-Ball putter on Tuesday before the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Matt Kuchar uses a dark, raw-finished set of Bridgestone J40 Forged Cavity Back irons for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Seung-Yul Noh has three different irons in his bag for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, a Nike VR_S Forged 2-iron, Forged Pro Combo 3- and 4-irons, and VR Pro Blades.
Dustin Johnson, who nearly won the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, hopes these TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB irons and wedges can help him win the title.
Dustin Johnson’s putter cover has his signature embroidered into it.
Patrick Reed has Callaway X Forged long irons and Razr X Muscleback irons in his bag on Monday, along with the new Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind wedges.
Rickie Fowler hopes these Cobra AMP Cell Pro irons and Tour Trusty wedges can help him win his first major.
Rickie Fowler plays this Scotty Cameron for Titleist prototype putter.
Billy Horschel has a set of Ping S55 irons in his bag that have special paint fill to show his love for the University of Florida.
Billy Horschel, who uses a Ping Karsten TR B60 putter, practiced on Monday using an alignment board, hitting putt between tees and into the hole.
Ernie Els, the winner of two U.S. Opens, had a TayorMade SLDR S driver in his bag on Monday, along with Adams XTD Cross Cavity irons and prototype Adams wedge in his bag.
Jimmy Walker, who has won three PGA Tour events this season, uses Titleist 714 MB irons.
Darren Clarke, winner of the 2011 Open Championship, has these TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons and wedges in his bag.
Technicians in the TaylorMade tour van received so many requests from players for long irons that the supply of MC 2-iron heads was quickly exhausted. They started bending 3-irons to 2-iron loft.
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Kaymer, though, said he preferred the look of the altered 3-iron. The 3-blade, he noted, is slightly larger than the 2-iron.
Bending irons in this fashion is nothing new. Gary Player did it frequently during his career. Fred Couples once carried two Lynx 8-irons bent to different lofts. Jason Day occasionally has used a TaylorMade 2-iron bent to 1-iron loft.
The entire MC set has stock lofts that are not as strong as many other irons: 47-degree pitching wedge, 42-degree 9-iron, 38-degree 8-iron, 34-degree 7-iron, 30-degree 6-iron, 26-degree 5-iron, 23-degree 4-iron, 20-degree 3-iron, 17-degree 2-iron.
At the Players Championship, which he won in May, Kaymer carried a 17-degree TaylorMade SLDR Rescue hybrid. That club came out of his bag at the U.S. Open, making room for the 3-iron with 2-iron specs.
Kaymer is not known as a club switcher. He often has said he prefers to stay with the same clubs.
In line with that philosophy, Kaymer has used a Ping Karsten Anser 2 putter to win the 2010 PGA Championship and 2014 Players Championship, while also sinking the winning putt for Europe at the 2012 Ryder Cup.