Toy Box: Henley wins in PGA Tour debut
Russell Henley, a Web.com Tour graduate, won in his first start as a PGA Tour member, with a three-shot victory in the Sony Open at 24-under 256.
His full Nike bag: Nike VR_S driver (9 degree, with Graphite Design HD-7X shaft); Nike SQ Sumo 3-wood (13 degree); Nike VR Pro hybrid (18 degree); Nike VR Pro Cavity irons (3-6), VR Pro Combo iron (7-9), Nike VR Pro wedges (47, 53 and 59 degree), Nike Method 006 prototype putter. He played a Nike 20XI X ball.
Henley switched from the original Nike 20XI X golf ball to the new 2013 model.
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McIlroy debuts Nike clubs: The big news coming out of Abu Dhabi early in the week is the signing of Rory McIlroy by Nike.
McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the world, made his first start of the year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, a European Tour event.
His bag: Nike VR_S Covert Tour driver (9.5 degree); Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood (15 degree) and 5-wood (19 degree); Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW); Nike VR Pro wedges (54 and 60 degree); Nike Method 006 prototype putter. He is playing a Nike 20XI ball.
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Oosthuizen wins with newest Pro V1x: Louis Oosthuizen used the new 2013 Titleist Pro V1x prototype to win the Volvo Golf Champions in his native South Africa.
At the Sony Open, 62 golfers used the 2013 versions of the ball – 50 playing the Pro V1x and 12 playing the Pro V1.
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Parnevik joins Cobra-Puma: Jesper Parnevik, who will turn 48 on March 7, recently signed a new contract with Cobra-Puma.
According to Cobra, Parnevik will play an AMP Cell Pro driver (7.5 degree), AMP Cell Pro 3-wood (13 degree), AMP forged irons (3-PW) and Trusty Rusty wedges (49 and 53 degree).
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Two versions for Cobra, Nike drivers: Consumers should take notice that Cobra is selling two versions of the new AMP Cell drivers and fairway woods – AMP Cell and AMP Cell Pro. The AMP Cell driver ($299) has a loft range of 8.5 degree to 11.5 degree, while the AMP Cell Pro driver ($399) has a loft range of 7.5 degree to 10.5 degree.
Another tip for consumers: Nike’s new red-headed VR_S Covert driver also is available in two versions.
The Covert ($299) has a 460cc head and is intended to produce slightly higher, straighter shots. The Covert Tour ($399) has a smaller 430cc head with a deeper face. It is designed for more penetrating shots. The Tour version easily can be recognized by its black face.
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New Odyssey putter records top finishes: In their first week on the PGA Tour, new Odyssey Versa putters collected two top-10 finishes at the Sony Open. Charles Howell III tied for third, while Pat Perez tied for ninth. Five of the top-10 finishers used Odyssey putters.
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Kirk carries Callaway X Forged irons: Chris Kirk had been testing Callaway Razr X Muscle Back irons in the offseason but switched to Callaway X Forged irons for the Sony Open. He tied for fifth. Meanwhile, Tommy Gainey, who used a Callaway X Hot driver (10.5 degree), had a driving performance in Hawaii worth writing home about: He was fourth in accuracy and 10th in distance.
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Shaft news: Aldila won the hybrid-shaft manufacturer count at the Sony Open. In addition, five of the top-10 finishers had an Aldila shaft in the bag, including runner-up Tim Clark, whose Callaway Steelhead 5-wood was outfitted with an Aldila RCH shaft (proprietary to Callaway).
Clark and Matt Kuchar, who tied for fifth, used Aerotech SteelFiber shafts in their irons. The SteelFiber shafts are a combination of graphite and high-strength steel fiber. Aerotech, which manufactures graphite components for several sports, is located in Bellingham, Wash.
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Short shots: TaylorMade had 60 drivers, 81 fairway woods and 37 sets of irons in play at the Sony Open to win the count in all three categories. . . . Boo Weekley led the PGA Tour in total driving (combining distance and accuracy) in 2012. He showed up in Hawaii with a new TaylorMade R1 driver. . . . Justin Leonard has switched from TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB irons to the new RocketBladez Tour irons. Late in 2012, Sergio Garcia made the same change from muscleback irons to the new RocketBladez. . . . While waiting for his Thursday morning tee time, Rory Sabbatini bought a new TaylorMade Ghost Spider 5 putter from the Waialae Country Club pro shop.