September 18, 2015
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Jason Day ranks third in driving distance in Round 1 after averaging 334.6 yards off the tee. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jason Day arrived at Conway Farms Golf Club in the form of his life. With three wins in his last six starts — dating back to a T4 at The Open Championship — most assumed the current FedExCup leader would stay with his current equipment setup at the BMW Championship.
But when Day stepped onto the 10th tee on Thursday morning, he pulled something new out of the bag: a 10.5-degree TaylorMade M1 driver (Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage Silver TiNi 70X shaft). Instead of sticking with his R15, Day switched to the company's latest driver model that made its TOUR debut this week.
The new M1 features a new lightweight carbon composite crown that weighs 10 grams, along with two sliding weight tracks in the sole — one that runs from heel to toe and another from the front of the club to the back.
With a combined weight of 25 grams, the two tracks allow face angle and launch to be altered based on the position of the sliding weights.
Day, who opened with 10-under 61 at the BMW Championship, was one of 16 players in the field to switch to M1 the first week it was available.
"I was just saying earlier that I had a practice round [Wednesday] at the pro-am with the new [TaylorMade] M1 driver and put it into play just to kind of see how it went," Day said. "One shot comes to mind which was down 8, being able to hit it like 320, 330 yards down there. I wouldn't have been able to hit it with my R15.
"Being able to be aggressive, more aggressive with my drives off the tee boxes here has definitely paid off coming in with shorter clubs, so yeah, I'm just trying to — just rolling with it right now, and it's worked out."
Day has never been short on distance off the tee, but according to 6-time TOUR winner, the new driver gave him a few advantages, when compared to his previous gamer, while maintaining the same launch angle he's grown accustomed to.
"To be honest, I'm hitting it longer than my R15, which is fantastic," Day said. "Just the whole setup, the whole makeup of the driver, with it being a little bit lighter, with the carbon insert on top, so I can get a little -- the swing speeds are up because of that. But then on top of it, I'm launching it the same angle, but the down angle coming down to the ground is a lot lower. The spin is a lot lower than my old driver, as well.
"When you've got the same launch angle, carrying a little bit further with a lower down angle and less spin, it's going to bounce and roll. It's just a perfect makeup right now. It's kind of like that honeymoon stage of putting something new in the bag. I'm excited about it. Hopefully I can keep it going over the next few days."
Coming into the tournament, Day ranked third in driving distance (314.6 yards) and seventh in strokes gained: tee-to-green (1.359). Through Round 1 at Conway Farms, Day leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (5.692), and ranks third in driving distance (334.6 yards).