February 09, 2014
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Phil Mickelson switched putters on Friday at Pebble Beach. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
Former AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am winner Phil Mickelson made a mid-tournament putter change on Friday, swapping out his Odyssey Versa #9 (white-black-white) for a new Metal-X Milled Versa #9 HT.
The heel-shafted flanged blade measured 34 inches and had a little bit of offset -- something Mickelson preferred in his head setup. The putter also had oval dimples etched directly into the face (know as Metal-X Roll Technology) that increased friction between the ball and face for a better roll and softer sound at impact.
Along with the high contrast Versa design on the head, Mickelson's putter featured two adjustable weight ports in the sole -- the head weight was 350 grams when Odyssey reps gave the putter to Mickelson -- and a custom ProType black shaft and SuperStroke Slim 3.0 grip that were on the previous model.
Gay drops R1 for SLDR: A little more than a year after Brian Gay switched to TaylorMade's R1 driver at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation -- Gay won the first week he had R1 in the bag -- the four-time PGA TOUR winner replaced the club with SLDR at Pebble Beach.
But instead of going with the standard 460-cc head, Gay opted for the smaller, low-spinning 430-cc head with 10.5 degrees of loft. TaylorMade reps said the new driver gave him a stronger ball flight than his previous driver. He averaged 262.3 yards (59th in the field) and hit 65.45 percent of his fairways (T35).
Thompson goes with driving iron: The blustery conditions at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am forced Michael Thompson to make an adjustment to his bag setup.
Thompson pulled his PING G25 3-wood and replaced it with a PING Rapture driving iron.
The 18-degree driving iron is made from 17-4 stainless steel with a high-strength 455 Carpenter stainless steel face that was purposely thinned out to allow designers to repurpose discretionary mass low and back on the clubhead for a low center of gravity.
PING Tour rep Christian Pena said Thompson added the club specifically for Spyglass as a tee ball and low ball option. Thompson, who posted a top-20 finish (T19), ended the tournament T3 in driving accuracy (80 percent).
Big Bertha debuts: Jim Furyk and Stuart Appleby switched to Callaway's Big Bertha Alpha and Big Bertha standard driver at Pebble Beach. Appleby's Alpha driver had 9.1 degrees of actual loft with a 44 3/8-inch Project X 7.0 Black shaft that was tipped 1-inch. The 10.5-gram Gravity Core was positioned towards the crown. He finished the week T10 in driving accuracy (74.55 percent).
“He looked down at it and knew exactly at that moment that it was going to be good,” Callaway Tour rep Mike Sposa said. “We fiddled around with the heel and toe weighting, finally settled on a 4 gram in the toe, 9 gram in the heel."
Furyk's 9-degree standard Big Bertha had a Fujikura Speeder 6.2 Shaft that was 44 3/8 inches and tipped 1 1/4 inches. The slide weight was set slightly toward the toe side. Furyk finished T35 with the new driver.
Mahan goes back to Eye2 lob wedge: Hunter Mahan's connection with PING's Eye2 lob wedge has been well documented. Mahan had been using a pre-1990 58-degree PING Eye2 lob wedge for years -- the square grooves on the wedge were grandfathered in by the USGA, making the club legal for play on the PGA TOUR -- before switching to a similar Eye2 wedge with conforming grooves in 2010.
Mahan had been using a PING Tour Gorge (wide sole) lob wedge but switched back to Eye2 at Pebble Beach. According to PING reps, Mahan had tested a Tour Gorge with the same sole as Eye2, but the five-time PGA TOUR winner still preferred the bounce and high toe of his old wedge. He was T3 in sand saves and posted his first top-10 finish of the season (sixth).
Reed adds steel shaft to 3-wood: Patrick Reed became the latest player to use a steel shaft in his 3-wood, adding a True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft to his Big Bertha at Pebble Beach. In search of a heavier shaft that reduced spin, Reed went with a steel shaft that was 42 1/4 inches and tipped 2 inches.
The choice to go with steel over graphite was reminiscent of Gary Woodland's decision to use an X100 steel shaft in his 15-degree X Hot Pro fairway wood at last season's Humana Challenge.
Callaway reps said it only took Reed three shots on the range before he put the club in play.
Divots: Richard H. Lee posted his first top-20 finish since the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open with a new Odyssey Versa Sabertooth (white-black-white). Lee finished fourth in the field in strokes gained/putting (2.436) with the same high-MOI model Keegan Bradley's currently using. ... J.B. Holmes switched to a 430-cc SLDR driver with 12 degrees of loft. ... Charlie Wi transitioned from R1 into a 10.5-degree SLDR. Wi liked the consistency and higher launch angle -- his carry distance increased by seven yards -- SLDR produced, when compared to his previous driver model. ... Heath Slocum put a PING Karsten TR Zing putter in play. ... Daniel Chopra added PING's new i25 driver with the company's PWR 65-X shaft.