By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Everyone knows that Robert Garrigus is crazy long throughout the bag. But the shortest club was key to landing a trip to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Garrigus and Ryan Moore were the only two players to enter the BMW Championship outside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings, then play their way inside at Crooked Stick. Only the top 30 advance to the Playoffs finale at East Lake.
A T4 finish at the BMW lifted Garrigus from 31st to 20th, and during the week he was 11th in strokes-gained putting and T4 in putts per round with an Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball V-Line putter that went into the bag just the week before at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Garrigus’ key round at Crooked Stick was a Saturday 66 that featured no bogeys and an eagle-birdie-birdie run from the 15th through 17th holes.
“I've been really comfortable with that putter, that new putter, and I just needed (Saturday) to see one go in, and I finally got the eagle putt to go in,” Garrigus said. “That was a big one. And then the next two putts on 16 and 17 were right in the jar…”
On Sunday, Garrigus clinched his finish with a 69 that included a four-birdie streak on the back nine, starting with this 60-foot bomb at the 13th.
The putter is a conventional-length model, which is also a twist for Garrigus. He famously putted for a while – and won – with a 28.5-inch putter that looked like something out of a junior’s bag. Earlier this year he went completely the other way with a Scotty Cameron Big Sur 46-inch long putter.
Now, 33 inches looks like the magic number.
“You know, I really decided to do something I've never done before, and that's go to a regular length putter,” Garrigus said. “If I could just stroke it under pressure the way I wanted to, it was going to be good because I've never tried it before. It's 33 inches, and it's rolling great.”
SERGIO’S STUFF: Sergio Garcia, heading to East Lake next week at 12th in the FedExCup standings, had two new TaylorMade ATV wedges made to refresh his arsenal. He had a 50-degree (bent to 51) and a 58-degree (bent to 56) made, then he came by the company’s truck at Crooked Stick to put the finishing touches on the wedges with a personal grind giving slight relief to the heel and toe.
BITS: Hunter Mahan switched from the Ping Nome mallet putter that he had success with earlier in the season to a more conventional heel-toe blade at the BMW. He’s moving on to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, one of three players (Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker) to qualify for the Playoffs finale in all six years of the FedExCup. … Nineteen of the 30 players at East Lake will play Titleist balls. … Argentina’s Tommy Cocha won the inaugural PGA TOUR Latinoamerica event with a Titleist bag of equipment and a ProV1x ball.
WINNER’S BAG: Rory McIlroy at the BMW
Driver: Titleist 913D3 (Mitsubishi Diamana proto 70X, 8.5 degrees)
Fairway woods: Titleist 913Fd (13.5, 18 degrees)
Irons: Titleist MB (3-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (46, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x