October 29, 2018
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
Cameron Champ claims first PGA TOUR win at Sanderson Farms
Winning on the PGA TOUR as a rookie is always a tall task. Having to deal with a broken club on the driving range before the final round adds another level of difficulty to the situation — especially when the club happens to be the one that gives you an edge over the field.
That was the dilemma Cameron Champ had to deal with on Sunday afternoon at the Sanderson Farms Championship, after the face on his PING G400 Max driver cracked as he was warming up.
"I was on the range and actually had my headphones in at the time," Champ said. "I hit the first drive and kind of fell out of the air. I was like, Oh, that's kind of weird. Probably cracked there but didn't crack on the top yet. Then I hit another one and it just split straight and a half.
"Yeah, it was very unexpected. Then my backup is actually my old one I have that week. I didn't bring a new new head. It was an older one from my previous driver. I know the weighting was just a little bit off, so just tried to hit as many balls as I could on the range with it just to get used to it a little bit."
Already dealing with what he called a mix of "nerves and adrenaline" as the 54-hole leader, Champ was forced to make do with his old driver during the final round.
Although the driver was practically identical to his previous build, Champ struggled off the tee, hitting just five fairway (his lowest total for the week) and ranking 29th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee.
He still managed to hit drives that topped 320 yards on four of the last six holes, setting the stage for a torrid finish to the tournament that saw Champ birdie five of his last six to win by four.
Reed's new wand: Patrick Reed rarely tinkers with the putter, which is part of the reason why his decision to go with something other than the trusty Odyssey White Hot Pro #3 took many by surprise at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
Reed opted for a Scotty Cameron Timeless 2.5 GSS with a dark finish and a single strip of lead tape on the sole. According to Scotty Cameron Tour rep Johnny Delprete, the putter is a Timeless 2 GSS with a welded .5 neck.
Cameron has done 2.5 retail versions in the past, including the Select Newport 2.5 that featured 3/4 shaft offset with a Newport 2 style head.
Reed finished T7 in China with the new putter.
Rory swaps putter: Rory McIlroy added a new putter to the rotation at the WGC-HSBC Champions in the form of a TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto with a custom plumber's neck.
Putter change this week for Rory: Back to a traditional Anser-style head with no insert and an L-neck. See some heavy lead tape on the sole as well. pic.twitter.com/j8x31roWWE— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) October 25, 2018
Compared to his old TP Black Copper Soto, the custom Anser-style blade lacked TaylorMade's red Pure Roll insert and slant neck, giving it a similar look and feel to the old Scotty Cameron Newport GSS putter McIlroy had success with in the past when he was a Titleist staffer.
McIlroy struggled mightily with the putter over 72 holes, finishing the week T54 at 10 over. While it isn't a direct indicator of struggles or success, he averaged 1.756 putts per green in regulation at Sheshan International Golf Club.
DeChambeau's electric driver: It took Bryson DeChambeau until the FedExCup Playoffs to put Cobra's King F8+ driver in the bag. The switch to Cobra's next driver might not take nearly as long.
DeChambeau, who's in the field this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, posted a slow-mo video on his Instagram account of what appears to be Cobra's 2019 driver offering.
The club appears to have electric yellow paint around the back portion of the head (sole), which is a dead giveaway he's no longer using F8+. It remains to be seen if he's merely testing the club or plans to put it in the bag this week at TPC Summerlin.
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