April 23, 2021
By GolfWRX, PGATOUR.COM
Tony Finau & Cameron Champ’s Round 1 highlights from Zurich Classic
It should be no surprise that the team of Tony Finau and Cameron Champ has been dubbed "Team #SendIt" this week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans thanks to each player’s prodigious length off the tee. Champ is second on TOUR in clubhead speed, clocking in at just over 128 mph. Finau is ranked 22nd at 119 mph and change, but we know he has much more in the tank. Finau has been seen getting it up to 137 mph in videos posted to social media.
So, with all this speed packed into one team, how do the drivers of these two players stack up against each other and what can we learn?
Driver: Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees, set to 9.75 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70 6.5 TX (44.25 inches, tipped 1.5 inch).
Driver: Ping G425 LST (9 degrees, set to 7.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX (45.25 inches, tipped 1.5 inch)
Let's start with the obvious. Both players use Ping's G425 LST. LST stands for "Low Spin Technology.” Ping engineers achieved a lower-spinning driver head by making it smaller than the others in the G425 line. That moves the center of gravity closer to the face and creates a low-spinning head.
Although both players use a different loft to optimize their launch conditions, they both use Ping's adjustable hosel to open the face, which lowers the loft. This also helps lower spin, thanks to the lower loft, and it promotes the left-to-right ball flight that both Cameron and Tony prefer.
The biggest difference is the length of each player’s driver. Champ’s is 44.25 inches, while Finau’s is an inch longer. This changes how the driver heads are set to have them play to the desired swing weight. At the shorter length, Cameron's driver uses a 20-gram adjustable rear weight (aka the CG shifter), while Tony's is six grams lighter.
We reached out to Ping's VP of Fitting and Performance, Marty Jertson, to get some extra insight on the two contrasting driver setups when it comes to length.
"Cameron experimented with a going to a slightly longer driver earlier in the year, but after testing settled back into 44.25" with the G425 LST head in the flat hosel position,” Jertson said. “What makes this unique is Cameron is using both a short driver along with the flat setting to help center his impact and neutralize his left/right dispersion." (Tech note: A shorter length makes a golf club play effectively flatter.)
After round one, it looks like team #SendIt is firing on all cylinders after carding a 9-under par 63 at TPC Louisiana.