By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Putting a new driver in play midway through the FedExCup Playoffs may seem like odd timing for an equipment switch, but when you're Graeme McDowell and you happen to be sitting outside the top 30 on the FedExCup points list, now could be as good a time as ever to find a spark.
Currently 48th on the points list, McDowell arrived at Conway Farms with a new Srixon Z725 Forged driver in the bag. The former U.S. Open winner spent his week off testing it out for the first time at Lake Nona, and decided to switch after picking up additional carry with a higher launch angle.
The reason for the switch? McDowell felt like he needed more carry to handle some of the courses on the PGA TOUR.
The Srixon Z725 driver McDowell's using — it has the same Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 61 X-Flex shaft he had in his Cleveland Classic — is actually last year's model. A new version of the Z725 appeared on the USGA's list of conforming driver heads in July, but based on the position of the "Srixon" logo on the sole — it's horizontal (2012) instead of at an angle (2013) — it appears he's not using the prototype version.
Srixon's 2012 Z725 features a 425cc head with a forged Super TIX 51AF titanium face that produces consistent, solid feel. The driver also has three tungsten weights in the sole that were strategically placed to help balance and stabilize the head through impact, and keep the center of gravity low for added forgiveness and carry.
The good news for McDowell is that he shot 1-under 70 on Thursday with the new driver and currently sits in a tie for 20th. The bad news for everyone else is that the driver won't be available to try anytime soon, as it's a Japan-only model.
With the new driver in play, McDowell averaged 271.7 yards off the tee (T32) and hit 78.57 percent of his fairways (T10).