Cabrera puts Ping on the board

>> Angel Cabrera gave Ping its first Masters victory by a Ping staff player.

However, six Masters have been won by players using Ping putters, dating to George Archer’s 1969 triumph with a Ping Anser.

>> Ping tour rep Matt Rollins on Angel Cabrera’s visit to the Ping putting lab last year:

“What are you looking for?” Cabrera was asked.

“I’m looking for hope,” he answered.

Rollins speaks fluent Spanish, so we can trust the translation of Cabrera’s emotional words.

He ended up with the Ping i-Series 1/2 Craz-E belly putter (pictured) that he used to win the Masters.

>> It was a clean sweep for TaylorMade’s R9 driver, which was used by winners on the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.

Verizon Heritage champion Brian Gay and Nationwide winner Patrick Sheehan played an 8.5-degree R9. Champions Tour winner Nick Price used a TaylorMade Burner (9.5 degree) driver.

>> Gay has his own definition of “mixed bag.”

A Mizuno staff player, Gay used a wild mixture of Mizuno clubs at Harbour Town: CLK Fli-Hi hybrid (20 degree), MX-900 3- and 4-irons, MP-60 irons (5-8) and an MP-32 9-iron and pitching wedge.

He also used a Exotics 3-wood (15 degree) from Tour Edge. Gay used the new (2009 version) Titleist Pro V1 ball. He also carried Titleist Vokey Spin Milled wedges (56 and 59 degree).

>> Gay had Rifle steel shafts in his Mizuno irons.

Top finishers at the Verizon Heritage and their iron shafts (all of them steel):

Brian Gay: Rifle; Luke Donald: Dynamic Gold; Briny Baird: Rifle Micro Taper; Lee Janzen: Project X; Todd Hamilton: Dynamic Gold; Jose Maria Olazabal: Dynamic Gold; Tim Wilkinson: Dynamic Gold; Rory Sabbatini: KB; Matt Weibring: Project X and Tim Petrovic: Dynamic Gold

>> Another Gay achievement: He became the sixth Tour winner this year to use a Diamana driver shaft from Mitsubishi Rayon. Gay’s shaft was a 63-gram Diamana Blue Board.

Meanwhile, Jose Maria Olazabal switched to a 73-gram Diamana White Board.

>> Gay, widely regarded as one of the Tour’s top putters, used a customized pencil-neck Mizuno Bettinardi prototype putter from designer Bob Bettinardi.

One of Gay’s putter training secrets is his reliance on Conway Golf’s Chalk Line Putter Bracket (www.conwaygolf.com). Yes, he is paid to endorse the product, but he seems genuinely enamored with the device.

The Putter Bracket is about as simple as it gets. Costing $19.99, it contains a straight-line rod that attaches to any putter and points down the putting line. The rod is designed to aid proper alignment and to show golfers how to keep the putter head on line during the stroke.

>> Shaftmaker Fujikura, the top driver-shaft model in all four major championships in 2008, extended its streak by tying for first at the 2009 Masters with Mitsubishi Rayon. Aldila was the winner of the “all woods” category, which includes drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. . . . Fujikura was No. 1 in the driver shaft count and the “all woods” shaft count (drivers, fairway woods, hybrids) at the Verizon Heritage. The number of recently introduced Fujikura Motore F1 shafts in play climbed to 23.

>> Nick Price played the new four-piece Bridgestone Tour B330 golf ball.

>> At the Verizon Heritage, Fred Funk, Billy Andrade and Eric Axley also decided to play the R9.

Jonathan Byrd, though, was sticking with the TaylorMade Rr7 Limited driver. Two Rr7 Limited backups were built for Byrd by the TaylorMade tour staff.

TaylorMade officials said that many players were asking for strong fairway woods and hybrids to combat the narrow corridors and fickle winds at Harbour Town.

>> Titleist new 2009 version of the Pro V1x ball is gaining converts.

Cabrera used the 2009 Pro V1x, and so did Brittany Lincicome, winner of the Kraft Nabisco, the first women’s major.

>> Nationwide Tour winner Patrick Sheehan is an Aldila loyalist, using Aldila’s VooDoo shaft in his driver and 3-wood and an Aldila VS Proto shaft in his hybrid.

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