Notes: Bae's new-ball win, Day's custom 1-iron
Sang-Moon Bae won the HP Byron Nelson Championship with Callaway’s new Hex Chrome+ golf ball. Bae, a Callaway staff player, joined Phil Mickelson and Gary Woodland in using the new ball. The Hex Chrome+ features a dual mantle that minimizes spin off the tee, plus a soft TPU cover for control, according to the company.
Putt for dough? Absolutely. Bae used an Odyssey Tour Milled No. 1 putter to finish first in putts per green hit in regulation and second in strokes gained-putting. He led the field with 21 birdies.
The rest of Bae’s bag: Razr Fit driver (8.5 degree), Razr Fit 3-wood (15 degree), X Hot Pro hybrid (18 degree), X Utility Prototype iron (21 degree), Razr X MuscleBack irons (4-9) and X Forged wedges (48, 52 and 60 degree). His clubs were equipped with Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips.
The X Utility iron was built by Callaway for the 2012 U.S. Open. The length is 39 inches with a steel True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shaft.
Bae’s gapping of wedges warrants notice: An 8-degree gap between a sand wedge and lob wedge indicates a heavy reliance on the 60-degree wedge. For most PGA Tour players, a lob wedge is the club of choice from greenside bunkers.
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McDowell’s Match Play Odyssey
Odyssey was a double winner during the weekend as Graeme McDowell used a White Hot No. 7 prototype mallet to take the Volvo World Match Play Championship.
For nearly everything else, McDowell relied on Cleveland and Srixon: Cleveland Classic 290 driver (9 degree), Cleveland Launcher FL 3-wood (14 degree), Adams Idea a7 hybrid (22 degree), Cleveland 588 MT 3-iron, Cleveland 588 TT 4-iron, Srixon Z-TX irons (5-9), Cleveland 588 Precision Forged (48 and 52 degree) and RTX wedges (58 degree), and a Srixon Z-Star XV ball.
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The art of improvisation
Most golf club manufacturers no longer make or sell 1-irons, but TaylorMade did the next best thing for Jason Day, who was looking ahead to the Open Championship at Muirfield.
Here’s how TaylorMade improvised: Starting with a RocketBladez 2-iron, technicians bent the club down to 16.5 degrees of loft. Next, they installed a custom graphite shaft, a 125-gram UST Mamiya Recoil prototype at a half-inch over 2-iron length.
Day said he expects to use the club not only at Muirfield, but also at Merion for next month’s U.S. Open.
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Uihlein discovers continental success
American Peter Uihlein is proving the wisdom of his decision to learn the professional ropes in Europe. The 23-year-old Uihlein, winner of the 2010 U.S. Amateur, captured the European Tour’s Madeira Islands Open with an all-Titleist bag. He has three top-10 finishes in seven European Tour events this season.
Uihlein’s bag: 913D3 driver (8.5 degree), 913F.d fairway metal (13.5 degree), 712U utility iron (3), 680MB irons (4-PW), Vokey Design SM4 wedges (50, 56 and 60 degree) and a Scotty Cameron GSS putter. He uses a Pro V1x ball.
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The most recent convert to the Nike VR_S Covert fairway woods is Francesco Molinari, who used a 15-degree model at the World Match Play Championship. . . . While TaylorMade was winning the driver, fairway wood and iron counts at the Byron Nelson, sister-brand Adams Golf set a PGA Tour record for hybrids in play with 59, which was 30 more than runner-up TaylorMade. . . . Andres Gonzales is using an Odyssey Versa No. 2 Longneck BWB putter. The putter is a custom model because Callaway added a red alignment line on the putter’s back section. Previously, he had used an Odyssey White Hot No. 6 Longneck.