Fowler's equipment change pays off in Round 1
Rickie Fowler carded a 4-under 68 to in his Valero Texas Open debut
April 04, 2019
By Adam Schupak, PGATOUR.COM
- April 04, 2019
Rickie Fowler gets up-and-down for birdie at Valero
SAN ANTONIO -- Last year, a change in iron shafts propelled Andrew Landry to his first PGA TOUR win at the Valero Texas Open.
Landry switched to Nippon's Pro Modus3 Tour 105X model late Wednesday in his Ping iBlade irons in search of more height and spin and, as the saying goes, the rest is history. Could history repeat itself?
Rickie Fowler sure hopes so. Fowler installed True Temper's Dynamic Gold S-400 shafts into his set of Cobra irons Thursday and was pleased with the early results. Fowler took advantage of good scoring conditions in the morning at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course and fired a 4-under 68 in the opening round of the Valero Texas Open.
"What I've been playing has been working," he said of the KBS shafts, "but just looking for that little bit better."
Fowler said he had been thinking about making the change in hopes of gaining a little more spin on his mid irons. The S-400 shaft is the same model he already uses in his wedges. On Tuesday, Fowler had Cobra's Ben Schomin build 7-irons with eight different shafts for testing. It's unusual for players to make equipment switches the week before a major, but Fowler downplayed the timing ahead of the Masters.
"There's no way to get an idea of what it's going to do unless you put it in play," he said. "You've got to take that risk to find out and I'm happy with how it performed so far."
Fowler, who trailed Si Woo Kim by two strokes, was proudest of a wedge he hit at No. 11, his second hole of the day, which set up a short birdie putt.
"It was just a nice little hold-off high-cut wedge into the back right pin there. Really hit it exactly how I wanted to," he said. "It doesn't happen that often that you hit a perfect shot, how you draw it up landing in the right spot and finishing where you want it. So to have that happen on the second hole of the day definitely gave me confidence moving forward."
Fowler also highlighted his 9-iron from the rough at the ninth that flew with his preferred trajectory and hit the green and stopped.
Fowler is making his first appearance at the Valero Texas Open and said the golf course provided a fair test for his iron play.
"There's some great approach shots in here," Fowler said. "You've got to be pretty spot on with your numbers and how your bringing the ball in, the height, whether you're skipping it back or trying to stop it pretty quickly. It's a fun test. I wouldn't mind seeing a little breeze around here, just add a little more ball-striking on top of that, even though it is already a ball-striking golf course."
Rickie Fowler rolls in 25-footer for birdie at Valero