Toy Box: Snedeker wins with TaylorMade ‘classic’

Brandt Snedeker during Round 3 of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Brandt Snedeker during Round 3 of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Snedeker wins AT&T with TaylorMade ‘classic’

For $119.98, any player can own the same driver used by the hottest golfer on the planet: Brandt Snedeker.

Snedeker plays a TaylorMade Burner SuperFast driver (8.5 degree). This is the fourth year he has used the driver, which predates TaylorMade’s switch to white clubheads. The black-headed SuperFast still can be purchased in new condition at bargain prices. The Golf Warehouse (www.tgw.com), for example, offers it for $119.98. (Snedeker’s model shouldn’t be confused with the SuperFast 2.0, which has a white head.)

Snedeker, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, has never won with a white-headed driver. Because he has a driver endorsement deal with TaylorMade, however, it may be a matter of time. (He also has a major equipment contract with Bridgestone.)

Snedeker moved to No. 4 in the world, in great part because of his play with the Burner SuperFast driver. Each of his victories has come with this club, which is 45 inches long with a swingweight of D3.

He used a white-headed R11S driver several times in 2012, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational (10.5 degrees), Masters (9 degrees), and the Open Championship (9 degrees). He switched back to the black Burner SuperFast at the PGA Championship at Kiawah and has had it in the bag ever since.

One more Snedeker driver recollection: In the 2012 World Match Play Championship, contested in Casaras, Spain, Snedeker’s clubs and suitcase were lost by his airline on the trip to Europe.

So Snedeker borrowed a white-headed driver from TaylorMade staffer John Senden. In the opening round of match play, Snedeker went to the first tee with that driver and just nine other clubs -- a total of 10 clubs in the bag. He was a 5-and-4 winner over Thomas Bjorn. Senden, meanwhile, lost 3-and-2 to Ian Poulter.

Snedeker’s bag: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast driver (8.5 degree, with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 8.0 X shaft); Tour Edge Exotics CB4 3-wood (13 degree, with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 8.1 X shaft); Ping Anser hybrid (20 degree, with a UST Mamiya VTS 100 X shaft); Bridgestone J40 Cavity Back irons (4-PW, with Aerotech SteelFiber i95 Constant Weight S shafts); Bridgestone J40 wedges (52 and 56 degree, with True Temper GS95 shafts); Titleist Vokey Design prototype TVD lob wedge (60 degree, with a True Temper DG Spinner shaft) and an Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie putter. He played a Bridgestone Tour B330 ball.

• • •

Bridgestone Tour B330 suits Snedeker

Snedeker has been a clear beneficiary ever since the Bridgestone Tour B330 was reformulated. The change made the ball slightly softer and spinnier around the greens. The first time he used the new ball, at San Diego in 2012, he won. Later in 2012, he captured the Tour Championship and the Fedex Cup. In 2013, he has finished first or second in three consecutive tournaments.

• • •

Mediate’s mix-and-match

Rocco Mediate claimed the Allianz Championship with Ping i20 irons (3-PW), TaylorMade RocketBallz Tour driver (8 degree), RocketBallz Tour 3-wood (14.5 degree) and RocketBallz Tour hybrid (18.5 degree), Titleist Vokey Design SM4 wedges (52 and 56 degree), Titleist Scotty Cameron GoLo N5 prototype putter and a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.

• • •

Mediate uses tour-only model of Titleist Pro V1x

Mediate won his Champions Tour debut with a tour-only version of the popular Pro V1x. It is called the Pro V1x Plus and has a plus sign stamped on the ball. The official Titleist explanation of the ball: Same core, mantle and cover (as the regular Pro V1x). The only difference is the dimples, some of which are slightly shallower on Mediate’s ball. This gives him a somewhat higher ball flight. Ball speed, according to Titleist, is unaffected.

• • •

Fujikura's driver shaft goes 1-2-3

The Fujikura Motore Speeder VC shaft was the driver shaft of choice among three players on top of the AT&T leaderboard – winner Snedeker (VC 8.0 X), runnerup Chris Kirk (VC 6.2 X), and James Hahn, who tied for third (VC 7.2 TS X).

Furthermore, Mediate, who won in his debut appearance on the Champions Tour, also used a Fujikura Motore Speeder driver shaft (Motore Speeder TS 7.2 X).

• • •

SHORT SHOTS: Richard Sterne used an Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball V-Line putter in winning the Joburg Open. . . . Retief Goosen, returning to the PGA Tour after back surgery, joined Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and others in using TaylorMade’s new RocketBladez Tour irons. Said Goosen, who had used muscleback irons throughout his pro career, “They feel great, a lot softer.” . . . Jim Furyk, making his debut at Pebble, played Callaway X Hot standard driver (9 degree). He tied for third in driving accuracy, at 83.64 percent. . . . Callaway staffer Tommy Gainey has switched from Razr X Forged irons to X Hot Pro irons (4-PW). Gainey said he hits the ball higher with X Hot Pro. . . . At Pebble Beach, Titleist took the equipment counts for balls, wedges and putters. . . . TaylorMade won three equipment categories – drivers, fairway woods and irons – at the AT&T. The company also was second in balls, wedges and hybrids.

Gene Yasuda and Alex Miceli also contributed to this report

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