August 7 2013
Jason Day has a pair of 2-irons in the bag for Oak Hill. (Credit/Jonathan Wall)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Oak Hill Country Club's East Course isn't what you'd call a lengthy layout. At 7,163 yards, the par-70 course is the shortest PGA Championship venue since Southern Hills Country Club (7,131 yards) hosted the final major championship of the season in 2007.
But don't let the lack of length deceive you. Oak Hill has enough tree-lined fairways, water hazards, bunkers and thick rough to test the best players in the world.
In fact, a number of high-profile names -- including Phil Mickelson and Nicolas Colsaerts -- have so much respect for the layout, they're likely going to take driver out of the bag and go with a fairway wood off the tee in an effort to keep the ball in play.
Jason Day doesn't fall into this group. The 25-year-old, who posted a third-place finish at this year's Masters and runner-up finish at the U.S. Open, plans to use driver and may even go with TaylorMade's new SLDR for the first time.
However, based on the rest of the clubs he had in play during Wednesday's practice round, it's looking increasingly likely that driver could be the only wood he has in the bag, after he pulled his fairway wood and went with two 2-irons and a 3-iron.
Going from driver straight into a pair of 2-irons seems like a interesting way to tackle Oak Hill's tree-lined layout, but Day believes he has more than enough length in his long irons to contend.
While it may look like Day's carrying two of the same club, each 2-iron serves a different purpose.
The TaylorMade RBladez 2-iron --which features a UST Mamiya Recoil Proto (125-gram) graphite shaft instead the True Temper Rifle Flighted 6.5 shafts in the rest of Day's TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons -- was first built back at the HP Byron Nelson Championship as an option for The Open Championship.
TaylorMade reps bent the long iron to 16.5 degrees and lengthened it a 1/2-inch, giving it the same specs as a modern-day 1-iron. Day used the club at Muirfield and commented that he was hitting it upwards of 250 yards.
Assuming it goes in play on Thursday, there's a good chance he could use the 2-iron off the tee on a majority of the holes that put a premium on accuracy over length.
The other 2-iron (and 3-iron) is part of his current Tour Preferred MC set and hasn't been altered, giving the Aussie a rare 1-3 long iron setup.
Whether Day's game plan pays off at Oak Hill remains to be seen. Whatever happens the rest of the week, there's no question the Aussie's on the verge of having the most unique bag setup at the PGA Championship.