March 7 2012
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
When Rory McIlroy won The Honda Classic to take over the top spot in the World Golf Rankings, it gave Titleist bragging rights as the equipment manufacturer on the top bag in golf.
Those rights have switched hands as much as the top ranking has in the past year-plus.
McIlroy succeeded Luke Donald (a Mizuno guy), who supplanted Lee Westwood (Ping), who took the mantle from Martin Kaymer (TaylorMade). Westwood also had it for a period before Kaymer, then of course for years prior to that it was all Tiger Woods, and all those Nike swooshes.
Interestingly, bragging rights to the FedExCup have also been shared. Bill Haas won it last year as a Titleist guy, and before that it was Jim Furyk (Srixon hat, mixed bag), Woods (Nike) and Vijay Singh (Cleveland).
LOB-STER: McIlroy said his up-and-down on the 14th hole at PGA National’s Champions Course was his best of the week – and he had a lot of them while leading the field in scrambling at 83.3 percent.
McIlroy had a shot of some 65 yards from rough so deep he could barely see the ball, yet he slid a 60-degree wedge under it to within four feet, then made the putt.
That new wedge, a Titleist Vokey Design with four degrees of bounce, first went in the bag the week prior at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play, where McIlroy was runner-up.
“He’s got such great hands, he can play a little less bounce than your average player,” said Titleist Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill. “He’s just a magician -- he hits it high, low, he spins it.”
HATSPEAK: If you’re wondering why TaylorMade staff players such as Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and Johnson Wagner (right) are wearing hats with “17” on it at TPC Blue Monster, it’s for the company’s continuing RocketBallz campaign. The 17 is for the company’s claim of 17 yards extra distance over other 3-woods (your mileage may vary).
It’s the company’s second hat drive this year; at the Northern Trust Open its PGA TOUR players wore white hats with a simple red heart on the front, part of a “#driverlove” social media campaign.
SHAFT SWAP: Sang-moon Bae, No. 2 in PGATOUR.COM’s rookie rankings, changed shafts in his Callaway Razr X Muscleback irons from a Dynamic Gold S-400s to KBS Tour stiff, allowing for higher shots and an easier time drawing the ball. He finished T47 at The Honda Classic
WINNER’S BAG: McIlroy at The Honda Classic:
Driver: Titleist 910D2 (8.5 degrees)
Fairways woods: Titleist 906F2 (13, 18 degrees)
Irons: MB (3-9)
Wedges: Vokey Design SM4 (46, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS Newport prototype with deep milled face
Ball: Titleist ProV1x