Toy Box: Woods becomes Covert operative

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. ( Getty Images )

Monday, May 6, 2013

At the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, Tiger Woods captured his second win of the year and his first WGC victory since 2009.

His progress toward returning to his once-dominating form was made with a familiar lineup of Nike equipment, except for one notable change: Woods put a new 5-wood in the bag – a VR_S Covert (19 degree). Previously he had used a Nike SQ II 5-wood of the same loft. He kept the same shaft, a Mitsubishi Rayon Blue Board X.

On the state of his 5-wood, Woods said: “The 5-wood that I use is the SQ, so it’s, what, three versions ago. This one they made was a little deeper-faced, which is very similar to what I had, and something where I could get it out there, which is nice.”

The change, however, led to some adjustments. “I hit it a little bit further, so there’s a little bit bigger gap between the 3-iron and the 5-wood,” Woods said, “but I can hit this 5-wood a little bit higher, so I can actually take something off it and throw it up in the air.”

The rest of Woods’ bag: VR Tour driver (8.5 degree, with a Graphite Design DI 6X shaft), VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood (15 degree, with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 103X shaft), VR Pro Blades (3-PW, with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts), VR Pro wedges (56, 60 degree, with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts) and Method 001 putter. He used a Nike One Tour D ball.

• • •

Nike takes two on the Tour: On a weekend in which Nike staff members collected two victories on the PGA Tour, here’s a rundown on the bag of 29-year-old Scott Brown, winner of the Puerto Rico Open: VR Pro Limited Edition driver (8.5 degree), VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood (15 degree) and 5-wood (19 degree), VR Pro Blades (3-PW), VR Pro wedges (54, 60 degree), Method 001 prototype putter and a 20XI ball.

• • •

Rolling it with the Tank: Nicolas Colsaerts was the first player to put the newly released Odyssey Tank in play. At Doral, he used a 40-inch, No. 7. The Tank line features weighted components and an extremely high moment of inertia (MOI) to give players the stability of a belly putter without anchoring the club. In fact, Odyssey says that the Tank, which is 19 percent heavier than standard putters, is also 34 percent more stable.

• • •

Masterful driving: Titleist staff pros Adam Scott and Scott Piercy demonstrated their driving prowess at Doral. Scott was second in driving distance (309.9 yards) and tied for 11th in driving accuracy (60.71 percent). Piercy was fourth in distance (306.6 yards) and tied for ninth in accuracy (62.5 percent). Scott used a Titleist 910D3 driver (8.5 degree), while Piercy played a Titleist 910D2 (7.5 degree).

• • •

KBS makes its mark at Doral: A glimpse at the Darrell Survey showed that six players among the top 11 used KBS steel shafts in one form or another. Five played full iron sets: Peter Hanson, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Steve Stricker. A sixth player, Graeme McDowell, switched to a KBS shaft in his lob wedge.

• • •

Els makes Xtreme adjustments: How precise are clubmakers on the PGA Tour? Very precise, as seen in the Callaway Razr Fit Xtreme driver (9.5 degree) used at Doral by Ernie Els. The Big Easy wanted to emphasize a draw, so Callaway tour reps increased the heel weight and decreased the toe weight. The driver went from 14 grams in the heel and 3 grams in the toe to 16 grams in the heel (a 14-gram weight plus 2 grams of glue) and 1 gram in the toe.

Yes, they weighed the glue.

• • •

Short shots: Sergio Garcia (T-3), among the most particular of golfers, used a TaylorMade Ghost Tour MC-72 putter after requesting a plumber’s bend on the neck and a gray color on the face. The grip was Garcia’s favorite SuperStroke 55 Slim putter grip with European Ryder Cup graphics. . . . Mitsubishi Rayon won both the driver and total woods shaft counts in three events: WGC at Doral, Puerto Rico Open and Chile Open on the Tour. . . . Dawie Van Der Walt used three purple Oban shafts in his March 3 victory at the Tshwane Open on the PGA European Tour. He played Kiyoshi Purple 75X in his TaylorMade R1 driver, Kiyoshi Purple 85X in his RBZ Stage 2 Tour 3-wood (14.5 degree) and Oban Purple Hybrid 100S in his RBZ Stage 2 Tour Rescue (18.5 degree). . . . Bo Van Pelt switched to a set of TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour irons. He had been testing irons for several weeks and finally chose the RBZ Tour set (4-PW). . . . True Temper scored two PGA Tour iron-shaft victories last week: Tiger Woods (WGC-Cadillac Championship) used Dynamic Gold X100 steel, while Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open) used Project X 6.5 steel. . . . Brown played three Mitsubishi shafts: ’ilima 60X in his Nike VR Pro Limited Edition driver, Fubuki Alpha 80X in his Nike Pro Limited Edition 3- and 5-woods.

–David Dusek contributed readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.