Toy Box notes: Major production for Ping
British Open (Final round)
Louis Oosthuizen silenced any doubters Sunday by picking up his first major championship.
The top two finishers in the British Open, winner Louis Oosthuizen and runner-up Lee Westwood, have been with Ping throughout their careers.
The last previous major championship victory for Ping had been the 2009 Masters, when Angel Cabrera won in a playoff.
“Louis is really a neat guy,” said Ping CEO John Solheim. “We’ve been waiting for him to do something like this.”
Oosthuizen will receive a gold-plated Ping putter for his victory. He used a Ping Redwood Anser.
Also in Oosthuizen’s bag: Ping Rapture V2 driver (9 degree), Nike SQ Sumo fairway woods (13 and 19 degree), Ping S56 irons (3-9), Tour-S Rustique wedges (47, 54 and 60 degree) and Titleist Pro V1x ball.
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Casey increases driver loft: After shooting a 3-under 69, Paul Casey changed drivers before the second round of the British Open. He kept the same model, a Nike VR Tour, with the same shaft, a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana White Board 73X, but increased the loft.
Casey started with a 9.5-degree driver and ended up with a 10.25-degree driver (the head read 10.5).
“My spin rate is pretty low,” Casey said. “I’m in the low 2,000s (RPMs) off the driver, which is great when it’s nice and hot and sunny, but tricky when water gets between the ball and the clubface. So I had a couple of drives slip off the driver face and not go in the desired direction in practice. I said (to Nike clubmakers) I wanted more spin. They said the easiest way of doing it is more loft.”
The rest of Casey’s bag: Nike SQ II fairway woods (15 and 19 degree), Nike Pro Combo OS irons (3-iron), Nike VR Split Cavity irons (4-6), Nike VR Blade irons (7-PW), Nike VR wedges (54 and 60 degree), Nike Method 001 putter and Nike One Tour ball.
Casey used the same Nike Method 001 putter as Tiger Woods. (Woods switched to a Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 for the final round.)
The Method 001 was in the bag of two major champions in 2009 – Lucas Glover at the U.S. Open and Stewart Cink at the British Open.
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Harrington’s dual drivers: Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington carried two drivers, both TaylorMade models, to create different trajectories. One, a SuperFast with 10.5 degrees of loft, went higher. The other, a 9.5-degree SuperTri, went lower. He used the same shaft in both – a Fujikura Motore F1 (75 grams, X flex).
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More players try Titleist 910: The Titleist 910 driver, introduced two weeks before the British Open, continued to attract converts. At St. Andrews, 16 players used either the 910D2 or 910D3.
The 910D2 has a slightly lower and deeper center of gravity than the 910D3, which should translate into somewhat straighter and higher tee shots. Meanwhile, the D3 is designed to produce a more boring trajectory with some additional roll (Toy box, July 9).
The 910 is scheduled to be in golf shops in late November, although no retail price has been announced.
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Short shots: Phil Mickelson switched putters for the British Open, going to a Black Series Tour Designs No. 9. At St. Andrews, Odyssey had been looking to complete an Odyssey Slam. The previous three major winners – Y.E. Yang, Mickelson and Graeme McDowell – all used Odyssey putters. . . . Louis Oosthuizen used a Project X 6B7 graphite shaft (70 grams) in his Ping Rapture V2 driver. . . . Miguel Angel Jimenez , who won the French Open July 4, switched shafts in his G15 driver (9 degree) at the British Open to keep the ball down in the wind. At the French, Jimenez’s driver shaft was an Accra XC65 M5. At the British, he used an Aldila RIP 60. Both shafts weigh about 65 grams. . . . At the British Open, K.J. Choi continued to use the sidesaddle putting method he adopted at the John Deere Classic, although he totaled 35 and 33 putts, respectively, in the first two rounds and missed the cut. On the practice putting green, Vijay Singh tried Choi’s sidesaddle putter, called the Juan Putt. . . . Tiger Woods used the same ball at the British Open that he put in play two weeks earlier at the AT&T National. It is identical in construction to the Nike One Tour D, although Woods’ version features a slightly softer cover. . . . Tom Lehman carried a Cobra 1-iron from the 1990s. Lehman’s other irons were: Cobra Forged (2-3 and 9), TaylorMade rac (4), TaylorMade Burner (5-8), TaylorMade R9 (PW), Titleist Vokey wedges (54 and 60 degree). . . . Graeme McDowell used Callaway X-Forged irons (4-PW) – and a club normally earmarked for high-handicap golfers, a Callaway Big Bertha 3-iron. . . . Katsumasa Miyamoto played an orange Bridgestone Tourstage x-01 B+ ball. Sold in Japan but not the United States, the ball is available in yellow, blue, pink and orange.