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July 14 2013

9:17 PM

Equipment Roundup: John Deere

Lucas Glover was one of nine players to put TaylorMade's SLDR prototype driver in play at the John Deere.
(Cohen/Getty Images)

By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider

TaylorMade's SLDR prototype driver made its debut at the John Deere Classic with nine players putting it in play the very first week. Boo Weekley, Lucas Glover, Troy Matteson, Shawn Stefani, Rory Sabbatini and K.J. Choi were among the notables using SLDR.

Glover finished T15 for the tournament, the best finish of any player using the prototype driver at TPC Deere Run, and averaged 322.9 yards (6th in the field) off the tee.

TaylorMade brought 20 SLDR heads to the tournament for comparison testing with the R1 driver as well as general testing to gauge the response to the company's fourth driver offering this year.

Even though TaylorMade declined to go into specifics regarding the driver's performance or release date, the model players were testing had a 460cc head and moveable weight channel on the sole that allowed the trajectory to be adjusted 16 different ways — there are 16 notches on the sole — between a "fade" and "draw," via a sliding weight port.

Reed adds FT Optiforce: Patrick Reed became the latest player to switch to Callaway's new FT Optiforce driver (9.5 degrees) at the John Deere Classic. Reed went with the 440cc head (the driver also comes in a 460cc model) and a limited edition Aldila Rogue shaft that played at 44 1/4 inches.

According to Callaway PGA TOUR rep Mike Sposa, Reed was hitting it "about 16 yards further than his former driver." Reed finished the week seventh in driving distance (322.1 yards) and posted his third top-10 finish of the season with a T7.

For the second straight week — the driver debuted last week at The Greenbrier Classic — FT Optiforce was the No.1 Callaway driver model in play on the PGA TOUR.

Bradley prepping for Open Championship: Although it was a minor adjustment, Keegan Bradley had the Open Championship on his mind when he put a 60-degree Cleveland 588 Forged wedge (ROTEX face) with a extra bounce in the bag.

The reason for the extra bounce? The former PGA Championship winner felt it would help him get out of the deep pot bunkers at Muirfield.

Divots: Nick Watney went back to his Nike Method 001 putter last Friday at The Greenbrier Classic and finished T23. Watney kept the putter in play at the John Deere Classic and finished T27 for the tournament, and T22 in putts per GIR.

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