R9 SuperTri driver makes debut
Using a launch monitor on the practice range at the Farmers Insurance Open, TaylorMade tour reps recorded some eye-popping ball speeds from Dustin Johnson and Robert Garrigus. Johnson hit a drive with the Burner SuperFast that was clocked at 189 mph, and Garrigus reached 186 mph with an R9 SuperTri.
Players were allowed to use the new R9 SuperTri driver for the first time at the Farmers, and it became the tournament’s No. 1 driver model, with 25 in play.
Also of note: 23 TaylorMade TP xFT wedges with interchangeable faces were used.
• • •
Westwood’s driver dilemma: Lee Westwood had his second equipment problem in as many weeks.
A week after blaming a second-round 78 in Abu Dhabi on his iron shafts, saying they felt like “fishing rods,” Westwood had to pull out a backup driver, a Ping G15 that he had not used in competition, after his Ping G10 cracked during Round 3 in Qatar.
“Everything you could imagine could go wrong did go wrong for me this week,” he said. “I ended up playing the last nine holes with a 3-wood (a 14-degree i15) because the spare driver hit into the rough left every time.”
At least he had no further shaft problems. The iron shafts were checked and measured before the Qatar event and were exactly what they were supposed to be – Ping JZ steel, stiff flex. Regardless, new shafts were installed in Westwood’s Ping i10 irons.
• • •
Top finishes for Dynamic Gold: The Dynamic Gold X100 is the preferred iron shaft on the PGA Tour. Ben Crane, winner of the Farmers Insurance Open, had the model in his irons, as did Marc Leishman and Brandt Snedeker, among those who finished one stroke back.
Of the top 10 and ties at the Farmers (14 total), eight used Dynamic Gold X100.
• • •
Crane’s bag: A winner’s tools: Crane played a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Blue Board 73X graphite shaft in his Titleist 909D2 driver (10.5 degree).
He had Diamana Blue Board 83X graphite shafts in two TaylorMade V-Steel fairway woods (15 and 18 degree).
The rest of Crane’s arsenal: Titleist 909 H hybrid (21 degree), Titleist AP2 irons (5-PW), Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges (51, 55 and 59 degrees), Odyssey White Hot No. 5 putter and Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.
• • •
Big start for Big Easy: It’s early, but Ernie Els is off to a solid start in 2010. His scoring average is 68.69, fourth best on the PGA Tour and more than 1.5 shots better than his 2009 average of 70.21.
New this year in his bag is a Callaway FT-iZ driver (9.5 degree), an Odyssey White Ice No. 5 putter and Callaway’s Tour i(s) golf ball. He also used Callaway X fairway woods (15 and 19 degree), X Prototype irons (3-PW) and X Forged wedges (54 and 60 degree).
• • •
Short shots: The winners on the PGA Tour (Crane), Nationwide Tour (Robert Gates, 52, 58 and 60 degree) and European Tour (Robert Karlsson, 50, 56 and 60 degree) all carried three Titleist Vokey Spin Milled wedges. . . . Odyssey is off to a hot start as well. At the European Tour’s Qatar Masters, eight of the 13 players who finished in the top 10 used Odyssey putters. . . . Aldila claimed a driving double dip at the Farmers. J.B. Holmes used an Aldila VooDoo XVS8 shaft in his Cobra L4V driver (8 degree) and led the field in driving distance (307-yard average), while Blake Adams played an Aldila NV Proto 75 in his TaylorMade Burner driver (9.5 degree) and was first in driving accuracy (hitting 78.57 percent of the fairways).