Toy Box notes: New putter for Sergio
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The knock on Sergio Garcia the past few seasons has been his putting, and he put another new putter in play at the Honda Classic: a TaylorMade Rossa Daytona by Kia Ma with an all-milled face and no insert.
TaylorMade technicians filled the weight ports with their heaviest weights and created 3 degrees of loft. Garcia averaged 29.3 putts per round at the Honda Classic, good for a T-29 rank in putting average. He tied for 50th at 5-over 285.
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All in the family: Sam Saunders used a new Callaway FT Tour driver (8.5 degree) at the Honda. Callaway tour reps said he picked up 4 mph of ball speed on the range. On the course, he backed that up with a 302.1-yard driving average, fifth-longest in the field.
Saunders is the grandson of Arnold Palmer, who has been a Callaway staffer since 2000. Saunders tied for second in putting average with his Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter. He also used three new Callaway X-Forged wedges (52, 56 and 60 degrees) on his way to a T-17 finish, his best on the PGA Tour.
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Developing talent: Unknown to many golf fans is the existence of TaylorMade’s “developmental staff.”
Brazilian Alexandre Rocha, who was added to that staff in late February, Monday-qualified for the Honda field, only his fourth PGA Tour event. Then he walked into the TaylorMade tour van without “balls, apparel, gloves or hats,” according to a company spokesman.
Rocha was given everything he needed, along with an R9 SuperTri driver and 54- and 60-degree TP xFT wedges.
He finished at 7 over par.
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Winning bags: The bag of winner Camilo Villegas, a Cobra staffer, at the Honda Classic: Cobra S9-1 Pro S driver (10.5 degree), Cobra LD FST fairway woods (3, 5), Titleist 909H hybrid (24 degree), Cobra Pro CB irons (5-PW), Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges (54, 58, 60), Titleist Scotty Cameron Circa 62 No. 6 putter. He uses a Titleist Pro V1 ball.
• South Korean teenager Seung-Yul Noh, 18, used an all-Titleist bag in his victory at the European Tour’s Malaysian Open: 909D3 driver (8.5 degree), 909F3 3-wood (13 degree), 909H hybrid (17 degree), Titleist MB irons (3-9), Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges (48, 54 and 60 degrees), Scotty Cameron prototype putter and Pro V1x ball.
• ANZ Ladies Masters winner Karrie Webb used a Rife Barbados putter in her victory at home in Australia. Webb also used a Srixon Z-RW driver (8.5 degree), Cleveland Launcher Ti-fairway wood (15 degree), Srixon I-701 Tour irons (4-PW) and a Srixon Z-Star ball.
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Short shots: Although he is not under contract, Lee Trevino is playing Bridgestone’s J38 Dual Pocket Cavity irons (two-time Champions Tour winner Fred Couples plays the same irons). Trevino was signed by Bridgestone to promote the company’s B330 RX and B330 RX-S golf balls. . . Aldila won the driver, all-wood and hybrid shaft counts at the Honda Classic. Nationwide Tour Bogota Open winner Steve Pate used Aldila’s RIP shaft in his TaylorMade R9 SuperTri driver (8.5 degree). . . Stewart Cink switched from UST Mamiya’s Proforce AXIVCore Tour Red shaft in his driver and 3-wood to the company’s new ATTAS shaft.