May 18, 2015
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Webb Simpson found some success with a new set of irons in the bag at Quail Hollow. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
One week after Jimmy Walker put Titleist's 716 MB prototypes in play at THE PLAYERS Championship, Webb Simpson shelved his 680 MB's — the same irons he used to win the 2012 U.S. Open — for the new iron that has a re-designed muscle pad, squared-off toe and chrome finish.
While Quicken Loans National has been the site of Titleist's tour seeding and performance validation process in the past, the company decided to release the muscleback model earlier in the season.
Walker, Webb Simpson and Adam Scott were given the opportunity to test and provide feedback on the new design. Simpson opted to do his testing at home, where he apparently liked the irons enough to put them straight in the bag.
Simpson finished T2 at Quail Hollow, ranking second in strokes gained: tee to green (plus-14.150) and T38 in green in regulation (63.89 percent).
Putter change for Kevin Chappell: A new look on the putting green produced a top-20 finish for Kevin Chappell. Following a stretch of 7 missed cuts in 10 starts, Chappell made a putter change at Quail Hollow, replacing his Nike Matter Prototype with a Method Matter M5-12.
Chappell happened upon the putter early in the week and started rolling putts prior to the Monday pro-am. When a few found the bottom of the cup, he decided to give the putter a test run.
"I was kind of bored on the putting green waiting for my caddie on Monday and grabbed a putter, ball started going in," Chappell said. "Used it throughout my practice through the week and it's continued over.
"... I'm usually a guy that sticks with what — rotate between two putters for two years now. This is completely different than anything I've ever used. Obviously completely different than any results I've been getting so I like that."
The new face-balanced mallet produced a T-16 finish for Chappell — his best finish this year — who also ranked T-21 in putts per GIR (1.70).
"Went from like an Anser style putter to a mallet that's face-balanced," Chappell said. "Seemed to aim it better and hit it on line more. Both positive."
Luke Donald confirms new gear additions: Luke Donald wasn't in the field at the Well Fargo Championship, but that didn't stop him from making equipment news. The former No. 1-ranked golfer confirmed on Instagram that he would have new Mizuno woods and wedges in play when he teed it up at the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship.
Donald had JPZ 850 and JPZ EZ fairway woods in the bag during a recent testing sessions, as well as a set of yet-to-be-released Mizuno S5 wedges with an iridescent blue finish.
The JPX EZ driver was added at THE PLAYERS Championship and has three weight ports in the sole for adjusting ball flight.
Kevin Kisner's new 3-wood: In search of a 3-wood with a lower launch and spin, Kevin Kisner switched out his 16-degree Callaway XR Pro for a 14-degree XR Pro at the Wells Fargo Championship. The lower-lofted fairway wood produced the launch and spin Kisner preferred and went into play.