By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Brian Harman is one of the success stories of the FedExCup Playoffs so far, turning in the best finish of his PGA TOUR career at The Barclays to shoot from 97th in points to 41st.
He was near the bubble at the start of the week at the Bethpage State Park Black Course; now he’s in a pretty good spot to play through this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship and into next week’s BMW Championship.
And maybe one degree did it.
The lefthander doesn’t carry a 3-iron in his TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC set, and found himself pressing on approach shots to long par 4s in an early-week practice round – his first ever on the intimidating Black Course.
So he brought his irons to the TaylorMade van Monday night and had all of them (4-iron through PW) bent one degree strong. Come Thursday, in the first round of The Barclays, he shot 65. He ended the week tied for fifth, showing an impressive aversion to Playoffs pressure.
“It has to creep in, but you let those thoughts come and just let them pass,” Harman said. “You know the best way to assure a spot next week is focus on hitting the 4‑iron, 6‑iron, whatever it is.”
In his case, one degree stronger.
HEAVY METAL: Titleist’s new 913D3 prototype driver has won two of the last three events on TOUR, with Nick Watney’s win at The Barclays coming on the heels of Rory McIlroy’s dominant win at the PGA Championship.
Titleist also debuted its 913 fairway and hybrid prototypes at Bethpage. Graham DeLaet, the biggest mover of all last week with his T5 finish at The Barclays (from No. 106 to No. 44 in the FedExCup), used a 913F fairway.
TWO GLOVES MOVES ON: Tommy Gainey played himself from outside the top 100 in FedExCup points into a spot this week at TPC Boston after a T38 at The Barclays. He made adjustments to his Callaway Razr Fit driver to find some more spin, specifically by changing his upright hosel stting and adding more weight in the toe of the driver while taking it out of the heel.
The result? Gainey could still hit a hard cut but with more than 100 RPMs of spin.
GOLF WITH ZACH: GolfLogix, makers of the game’s best-selling golf app and a leader in GPS technology, is having a sweepstakes where four winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to play golf with nine-time PGA TOUR winner Zach Johnson at his home course in St. Simons Island, Ga.
Existing GolfLogix “Champion” members and those who join or upgrade memberships by Sept. 3 are automatically entered. For more information and to enter without purchase, visit here.
WINNER’S BAG: Nick Watney at The Barclays:
Driver: Titleist 913D3 (10.5 degrees)
Fairway woods: Titleist 910F (15, 19 degrees)
Irons: Titleist AP2 (3-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x