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James Achenbach

Stories by James

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Mizuno MP-15, MP-H5 irons, MP-T5 wedges

Two new MP irons for 2015, the MP-15 and MP-H5, plus a collection of new MP-T5 wedges go on sale Sept. 19.

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Mizuno JPX-850 hybrids

Mizuno's Shock Wave Sole, intended to allow the clubhead to contract then expand upon impact, helps define the company's new JPX-850 hybrids.

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Mizuno JPX-850 fairway wood

Mizuno has introduced new technology to its JPX-850 fairway woods that the company calls Shock Wave sole and promises greater distance.

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Mizuno announces JPX-850 irons

The cast version of the Mizuno JPX-850 irons has a slightly firmer feel and is all about that elusive combination of distance and forgiveness on offcenter hits.

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Mizuno JPX-850 Forged irons

It took Mizuno six years to develop the concept found in the new JPX-850 Forged irons, which feature boron added to forged carbon steel as a thinner face was incorporated.

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Mizuno JPX-850 drivers, woods, hybrids, irons

Mizuno's JPX-850 line offers comprehensive options, from a driver with sliding weight tracks to cast or forged irons as well as fairway woods and hybrids.

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Winner's bag: Hunter Mahan at Barclays

Heading into The Barclays, Hunter Mahan made a change in his bag. Here's the complete list of clubs he used to win the PGA Tour's first event of the 2014 FedEx Cup playoffs.

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Jo captures final Women's Public Links title

Chinese golfer Fumie (Alice) Jo defeated Eun Jeong Seong of South Korea 3 and 2 in the 36-hole final at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.

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Slow play almost derails teen at Women's Publinx

After avoiding penalties while on the clock for slow play in her match with Doris Chen, Eun Jeong Seong scored a 1-up victory in the quarterfinals of the 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.

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Chen gets her revenge in WAPL victory over Diaz-Yi

Doris Chen lost the 2013 WAPL final by a 10-and-9 margin to Lauren Diaz-Yi, but she got her revenge on Thursday with a 6-and-4 romp.

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Li gets letter from D.C. as USGA will display gear

Lucy Li, the 11-year-old who played in this year's U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, revealed that she had received a personal letter from Speaker of the House John Boehner.

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Li shines again before exiting Women's Publinx

Despite her sudden-death loss in the first round of match play at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, 11-year-old Lucy Li remains a genuine golf prodigy.

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Wood among those unhappy to see WAPL go away

Junior golf standout and Oklahoma commit Hannah Wood is a bit disappointed to see the WAPL go away, calling it "heart-breaking."

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Now open: Scotty Cameron Gallery in California

Putter designer Scotty Cameron launches retail venture, which is more than just golf.

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Small Oregon club makes splash at Senior Open

A trio of Oregonians – Rob Gibbons, Bruce Stewart and Pat O'Donnell – will tee it up at the U.S. Senior Open as members of the same, small club, the Arrowhead Golf Club.

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Ping G30 driver

Ping, mostly a quiet and conservative family-owned club manufacturer, is unusually enthusiastic about the official July 3 introduction of the G30 family of clubs. The family includes irons, hybrids, fairway woods and drivers.

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Ping G30 irons

In addition to drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, new Ping irons carry the G30 name.

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Ping G30 driver set for Bubba Watson

When the Greenbrier Classic starts Thursday on PGA Tour, Bubba Watson will use the new Ping G30 driver that will be introduced there and at the Open de France.

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True Temper Dynamic Gold Onyx Tour Issue shaft

True Temper's new black steel wedge shaft, the DG (Dynamic Gold) Onyx Tour Issue, could be a forerunner of more black shafts to come.

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Pinehurst fairways were too easy for a U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2 had mammoth fairways. The rough was replaced by sand and wiregrass and other native plants. Competitors encountered few obstacles off the tee.

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Achenbach: Wie has always been special

James Achenbach recalls encountering Michelle Wie as a 12-year-old tree-tall golfer at the WAPL – and she stood out for more than just her 5-foot-11 frame even then.

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Winner's bag: Michelle Wie, U.S. Women's Open

A look at Michelle Wie's complete bag of equipment at the U.S. Women's Open, where she won her first major on Sunday.

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Behind 66, Inkster will look to go out on top at USWO

Juli Inkster, 53, says this will be her final U.S. Women's Open after 35 appearances. Behind her Saturday 66, Inkster's farewell tour is now an unexpected chase for a third USWO title.

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After cut at USWO, Li can go back to being 11

Although she missed the cut, Lucy Li turned the age calendar on its head with consecutive rounds of 78 in the U.S. Women's Open. Now, Li can get back to being an 11-year-old girl.

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My bag: Lucy Li at the U.S. Women's Open

Here is the bag of 11-year-old Lucy Li, who shot 78 in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open.

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Achenbach: Caddie, Li make quick bond

11-year-old phenom Lucy Li and Pinehurst local caddie Bryan Bush make instant connection over Donald Ross, love for the game.

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Inkster set to make her final USWO appearance

Juli Inkster, 53, remembers her first U.S. Women's Open – at the age of 18 – like it was yesterday. This week at Pinehurst No. 2, she makes her final start in a tournament that she has won twice.

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Stadler spotted putting left-handed at Travelers

Kevin Stadler appears to have his own unique answer to the looming anchoring ban. At this week's Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour, Stadler was seen putting left-handed with a Rife General on the practice green.

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Due to injury, Pettersen's prep for Pinehurst altered

Suzann Pettersen is known for her fitness, helping transform how many players prep for the rigors of a full season on the LPGA tour. Now nursing a back injury, Pettersen had to scale back as she prepared for Pinehurst No. 2.

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Pinehurst quiets as women gear up

The Women's U.S. Open starts Thursday on the same No. 2 course played by the men, and practice rounds are underway. Yet only a handful of diehard fans have showed up for this prelude to history.

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Look ahead to Chambers Bay and beyond

Seven future U.S. Open sites (2015 through 2021) have been selected. How many of the seven courses can you name? As a bonus, match each course with its appropriate year. How much of a golf nut are you?

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Pinehurst wipes smile off Kuchar's face

Bang! The nicest guy in golf, Matt Kuchar, opened his mouth and the sharp-edged criticism came tumbling out after a 1-over 71 as he launched a rock-em, sock-em attack on the USGA for its Saturday setup.

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Moore: They'll be putting 'em off greens today

Ryan Moore will tell you what's different about U.S. Open conditions at Pinehurst for Saturday's third round: "They're starting to firm up. They're getting bouncier. There's going to be at least 10 people putting off the greens today."

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Kaymer carrying two 3-irons at Pinehurst No. 2

Martin Kaymer opened the U.S. with back-to-back 65s. He also carried back-to-back 3-irons, with one being bent to more of a 2-iron.

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By the numbers: Kaymer strong in several stats

A look at the numbers finds Martin Kaymer performing well at the U.S. Open in several statistics, understandable given his six-shot lead, plus Pinehurst's strengths and (relative) vulnerabilities.

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U.S. Open: The equipment counts at Pinehurst

The closest equipment counts at the U.S. Open were in irons, where Titleist edged TaylorMade 35-31, and putters, where Odyssey nosed Titleist 50-47.

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Glover debuts graphite-shafted Bridgestone putter

Lucas Glover used a new graphite-shafted, Bridgestone True Balance TD-03 putter at the U.S. Open.

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Even at eight back, Dustin Johnson has plan

Dustin Johnson is among those looking for a fight with Martin Kaymer at the 2014 U.S. Open, although Kaymer is threatening to run away from the field. "My approach won't change at all," insisted Johnson.

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Achie's Awards: Players' honesty at Pinehurst

Major championship competition brings out the honesty in most participants. Their U.S. Open thoughts Thursday at Pinehurst, amid invariably difficult golf, tended to lack any false confidence.

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Firsts prove fun for Berger at U.S. Open

Meet Daniel Berger, a former FSU golfer participating in his first U.S. Open. Berger hit 14 greens in regulation and shot 72 at Pinehurst No. 2 in the championship's first round, although such statistics stand in the way of history.

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Achie's Awards: Appreciating opinions at Pinehurst

Players and officials took the time Wednesday at Pinehurst to talk about the upcoming U.S. Open challenge. Here's a salute and a handful of Major Jim awards to honor their perspectives heading into the year's second major.

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Achie's Awards: Words of wisdom run gamut

Another major championship is about to start. For those who will not win the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, there is always a Major Jim Award to recognize significant words of wisdom.

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Pinehurst has players tweaking wedges, long irons

Wedges and long irons are the two areas in which U.S. Open competitors are furiously making equipment changes at Pinehurst before the start of the year's second major championship.

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From tertiary tours, Blair, Rask qualify for U.S. Open

Zac Blair, medalist in the U.S. Open sectional qualifier Monday at Emerald Valley Golf Club, outdistanced Clayton Rask by four shots as the two earned the spots that will take them from Oregon to Pinehurst.

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Knowing rule on divot leads to pair of birdies

On Emerald Valley's third hole, two players launched drives that ended up in the fairway just two inches apart during U.S. Open sectional qualifying -- when one marked, the other created a divot affecting his position.

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Skarbo leads early at sectional qualifier in Oregon

At Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Ore., professional Joel Skarbo of Seattle leads three other pros: Jarred Bossio of Olympia, Wash., Zac Blair of St. George, Utah, and Clayton Rask of Otsego, Minn.

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Winner's Bag: Rory McIlroy, BMW PGA Championship

Check out our exclusive interview with Rory McIlroy, who talks about his winning gear at the BMW PGA Championship.

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Nippon N.S. Pro Zelos 7

Nippon's new shaft is called N.S. Pro Zelos 7, and it is a lightweight steel shaft that may address the desires of many amateur golfers.

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Golf balls in colors no longer just quick splash

Many golfers have a love-hate relationship with colored golf balls. Three ball manufacturers have been particularly aggressive with colored balls in the U.S.: Bridgestone, Srixon and Volvik.

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Volvik Vista iV golf ball

The four-piece Volvik Vista iV has emerged as a player’s ball with optimal distance. Used by a handful of male touring pros, including Craig Stadler, the golf ball also is popular with female touring pros on the Volvik staff.

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