August 4 2013
Keegan Bradley played a Cleveland wedge with 'BOSTON STRONG' engraved on it this week.
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Less than a month after TaylorMade introduced a prototype version of its SLDR driver on the PGA TOUR and European Tour at the John Deere Classic and Scottish Open, the club became the No. 1 driver model at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Justin Rose, who first tested SLDR the week before the Open Championship, was the most notable name to switch at the event. The U.S. Open champion managed to dial in the launch conditions early in the week and felt comfortable enough with the new driver to put it in play on Thursday.
Dubai Desert Classic winner Stephen Gallacher also saw improvements against his R1 at the Scottish Open but officially made the switch this week.
Bradley adds new stamping to wedge: Keegan Bradley finished the week T2 at the WGC-Bridgestone and did so with a new 60-degree Cleveland 588 Precision Forged wedge with Tour Zip Grooves (12 degrees of bounce) in the bag.
Bradley had been using a similar model with his initials "KB" stamped on the wedge but decided to replace it with one that had "Boston Strong" stamped on the back — a nod to the rallying phrase of the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath.
Cabrera's new putter: The USGA and R&A's decision to ban the anchored stroke — the PGA TOUR's Policy Board voted to adopt Rule 14-1b as well — has forced some players to test out different putter models and strokes over the past few months.
Angel Cabrera, who used a 39-inch putter to win the 2009 Masters but never actually anchored it to his body, switched to a center shafted PING Scottsdale TR Piper that was 37 inches long, featured a slightly longer 17-inch grip and had a counterbalanced feel.
Testing for Nike staffers: A couple Nike staffers spent time testing new clubs early in the week on the Firestone range, including Paul Casey and Francesco Molinari.
Casey did some testing with a VR_S Covert driver but decided to stick with his 10.5-degree VR Pro Limited Edition (Diamana White Board 73X shaft) for the time being.
In an effort to add a fourth wedge to his bag, Francesco Molinari tested various Nike hybrids and VR_S Forged 3- and 4-irons to find a suitable distance gap that allowed him to pull one of his longer clubs out of the bag.
However, even with the extensive testing session, Molinari decided to stick with his current setup for another week. He plans to resume testing at the PGA Championship.
Notes: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano put a PING G25 4-wood in the bag. ... Dustin Johnson worked with a 60-degree Cleveland 588 Performance Forged wedge.