August 05, 2014
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Jason Dufner won his first major with a flawless week of ballstriking at Oak Hill. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Each week, PGATOUR.COM's Equipment Report highlights the top five players in a statistical category, and the club they used to get to the top. But since it's PGA Championship week, we're switching things up and taking a look at the most important club used by the last five winners of the year's final major championship.
Jason Dufner - Titleist 714 AP2 prototype irons (True Temper Project X PXi 6.5 shafts)
Equipment changes don't always produce immediate results, but in Jason Dufner's case, a new set of Titleist 714 AP2 prototype irons he put in play the the week prior at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational -- where he finished T4 -- helped him set the course record at Oak Hill Country Club and tie the record for lowest round in a major championship with a 7-under 63 during the second round of the PGA Championship.
Dufner was nearly flawless from tee-to-green, hitting the fairway with regularity and leaving himself with 10-15 foot birdie putts on a number of holes. Dufner took advantage of soft conditions during the round, holing out for eagle on the par-4 2nd hole and then adding five birdies to his card to grab a two-shot lead after 36 holes.
He went on to shoot 71-68 over the final 36 holes to win by two shots, becoming the first player to win a major with Titleist's 714 AP2 irons that were released at the midway point of the season at AT&T National.
Rory McIlroy - Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype
Rory McIlroy did the unthinkable at the 2012 PGA Championship, replicating his eight-shot win at the 2011 U.S. Open with another eight-shot rout 14 months later at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course.
McIlroy, who became the sixth-youngest player to win two majors, put on a putting clinic, pouring in putts from all over, including a 25-footer on the 72nd hole that capped off one of the most dominant performances in major championship history.
The Ulsterman tamed the Ocean Course's diabolical greens with a Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype putter -- the same model he used to win the 2011 U.S. Open.
According to the Team Titleist blog, McIlroy received the custom putter in 2010 at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and used it on occasion over the next year before going back to it in the run-up to the 2011 U.S. Open.
While the putter looks like a standard Titleist Studio Select Newport, McIlroy's putter had a few special features that made it very unique. The German Stainless Steel (GSS) that was used to design the putter is an extremely pricey material that's costly to mill but has a very distinct feel and crisp sound at impact. Cameron has typically produced GSS putters in the past for high-profile names like McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Ernie Els.
Keegan Bradley - Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth Belly
Keegan Bradley's PGA Championship hopes were on life support after a triple bogey on the par-3 15th that left him five shots back of Jason Dufner with three holes to play.
But instead of ceding the the title to Dufner, Bradley mounted a charge over the last few holes, making back-to-back birdies, including a 35-footer on the 17th that he poured into the cup.
When Dufner bogeyed three straight holes to force a three-hole playoff, Bradley took over, using his Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth Belly putter to make another birdie on the 16th hole -- the first playoff hole -- to grab his first outright lead of the day. Bradley went on to win by one shot.
Along with winning his first major at Atlanta Athletic Club, Bradley, a PGA TOUR rookie at the time, became the first player to win a major with a long putter. Bradley started using the 46.5-inch Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth Belly putter in 2010 and still has it in the bag.
Martin Kaymer - PING Karsten Anser 2
The 2010 PGA Championship will be remembered for Dustin Johnson's two-shot penalty on the final hole of regulation that knocked him out of a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. But that shouldn't take away from the key putts Kaymer made down the stretch to secure his first major title.
Needing a par on the last to join Watson in a playoff, Kaymer drained a 15-footer with his PING Karsten Anser 2 putter, and then followed the putt up with another 15-footer on the second playoff hole to pull level with Watson. The German went on the win by two shots when Watson doubled the last.
The PING Karsten Anser 2 putter Kaymer used to make the critical putts has been a bag staple during the three biggest wins of his career at the PGA Championship, PLAYERS Championship and U.S. Open. It was also used to hole the winning putt for Europe in the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah.
Y.E. Yang - TaylorMade Rescue TP hybrid (21 degrees; Aldila NV Hybrid shaft)
Y.E. Yang's come-from-behind victory will go down as one of the greatest final round performances of all-time. Going head-to-head with Tiger Woods, who was a perfect 14-for-14 when leading after a major after 54 holes, Yang came up big down the stretch, holing a 20-yard chip for eagle on the 301-yard, par-4 14th to grab a one-shot lead.
He then landed the knockout blow four holes later on the par-4 18th hole when he used a 21-degree TaylorMade Rescue TP hybrid from 206 yards to clear a group of towering trees that were obstructing his view of the green and landed the ball six feet from the hole.
Yang went on to win the tournament by three shots, becoming the first player to defeat Woods on the final round stage he had dominated for so many years.