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April 7 2013

8:32 PM

Equipment roundup: Valero Texas Open

Jim Furyk's two-driver experiment may or may not make it to Thursday at Augusta. (Cohen/Getty Images)

By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider

Looking to potentially go with a similar bag setup to the one he used to win the 2011 Masters, Charl Schwartzel tested a Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 5-wood (19-degrees) on the range at TPC San Antonio. Schwartzel had been using a Nike VR Pro Combo 2-iron but liked the idea of getting additional distance and height at Augusta National with a 5-wood.

Schwartzel had a 19-degree Nike SQ Sumo 5-wood in the bag when he won at Augusta in 2011.

Furyk's experiment lasts one round: Jim Furyk had a successful week at the Valero Texas Open, finishing T3 in his last start before the Masters. His test run with two Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme drivers, however, didn't go nearly as well.

Furyk, who was considering the idea of using both drivers at the Masters, ended up pulling the 9.5-degree out at the start of the second round. When asked why he went with only one driver, Furyk said he was having a difficult time getting comfortable with club's new setup.

"The one driver, the less‑lofted driver that I'm trying to hit a little farther has a left in it, and I'm having a hard time," Furyk said. "So I may have to switch shafts out. I have a couple ideas I'm going to work on this afternoon to see if I can get it a little bit better. What I'll probably do is get in that Callaway trailer on Monday morning in Augusta, make a couple adjustments and try to play it through Monday and Wednesday in practice rounds and see how comfortable I get."

It remains to be seen if Furyk will follow Phil Mickelson — Mickelson won the 2006 Masters with two Callaway Fusion FT-3 driver in the bag — and go with dual drivers at the Masters.

TaylorMade staffers make equipment changes prior to Masters: Players rarely make equipment switches the week before a major, but that didn't stop John Huh and Peter Hanson from adding new TaylorMade woods at the Valero Texas Open. Huh was one of seven players in the field that switched to a RocketBallz Stage 2 driver (9.5 degrees). Hanson, who finished T3 last year at the Masters, went with an 18-degree RocketBallz Stage 2 Tour rescue.

Pettersson testing iron shafts for Masters: It's common to see players switch to higher lofted woods and long irons at the Masters. Thanks to Augusta National's notoriously tricky greens, some opt to go with clubs that allow them to throw the ball high in the air and land it softly on the putting surface.

While loft adjustments are common, Carl Pettersson could be taking a different route at the Masters. The Swede spent his off week testing out a set of KBS C-taper 120 shafts that The Oven built for his VR_S Forged and VR Pro Combo irons. The KBS C-taper is a low-launch, low-spin shaft, but Pettersson believes it could give him the higher trajectory he's looking for.

Points adds PING i5 3-iron: Coming off a win last week at the Shell Houston Open, D.A. Points decided to adjust the winning bag by pulling his PING G10 hybrid for a PING i5 3-iron. Points brought an i5 3-iron head to San Antonio and had PING Tour reps build him one to match his set. Windy conditions at TPC San Antonio dictated the decision to go with the iron, but he was also considering the idea of using it at the Masters.

Hicks the latest to use Odyssey's TANK putter: Trying to find a putter that allowed him to use the "arm lock" method, Justin Hicks switched to an Odyssey TANK No. 7. Hicks, who putts cross-handed, used minimal shaft lean and positioned the ball off his front foot, which allowed him to roll the ball perfectly with 3 degrees of loft.

Divots: Rory McIlroy made a slight adjustment to the loft and lie on his 46-degree Nike VR Pro pitching wedge. ... Searching for a club he could hit a little higher, Kevin Chappell tested out a Nike VR_S 2-iron with a Graphite Design DI 105 hybrid shaft. The shaft was built a half-inch longer to get the added height and distance Chappell was looking for.

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