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Sean Crocker on signing with Srixon/Cleveland, his testing process and new clubs



Former University of Southern California standout Sean Crocker has signed with Srixon and Cleveland Golf for a multi-year deal. Crocker will play a Srixon Z-Star XV golf ball, Srixon Z-U65 Utility 2-iron, Srixon Z-765 irons (4-5), Srixon Z-945 irons (6-PW), and Cleveland RTX wedges (50, 54 and 60 degrees).

Crocker, one of the world’s top-10 amateurs, turned pro after three years at USC. During his time as a Trojan, the now 21-year-old helped his team to the NCAA Championship Match Play all three seasons. Crocker was an All-American, the 2015 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and a three-time All-Pac-12 selection.

He won the Monroe Invitational in the summer of 2016. Crocker finished second in the Northeast Amateur, and in 2015 he reached the semi-finals of the U.S. Amateur, losing to eventual champion, Bryson DeChambeau.

Crocker spoke with GolfWRX about the signing.

The adoptive Californian indicated there’s a great deal of similarity between forged irons and wedges–similarly spec’d and shafted–from OEM to OEM. Thus, he told us the golf ball was his primary concern in choosing a sponsor.

“That was the biggest thing. That’s what I sat on TrackMan with. I made sure I hit it in Europe when I was playing in windy conditions. If your golf ball doesn’t fly right, it doesn’t matter how hard or how solid you hit it; it’s not going to go where you want it.”

Crocker didn’t play a Srixon ball in college, and really hadn’t given anything from the Z-Star line much consideration as he assessed his options. However, he was surprised to find the Z-Star XV “held up perfectly,” performing particularly better than anything he tested in the wind.

Crocker, who had played TaylorMade equipment and balls from the time he was 14, tested equipment extensively last year. He tested woods from multiple manufacturers (and eventually returned to his TaylorMade woods), planning on locking in his irons and wedges last.

After the U.S. Amateur, he decided to broaden his ball search to include Srixon.

“The week before I signed, I played the first stage of ( Q-School in Nevada. It was blowing 15-25 mph all week, and the ball was amazing,” he said. Crocker tied for seventh (-9/279) at First Stage Qualifying in Dayton, Nevada. “Everything settled into place after that.”

He said the testing process included both range time on TrackMan and on-course work with the ball, and both facets are important.

“You’re always manipulating a little something when you’re on the range. But when you get on the golf course, all you think about is the pin. Especially when you’re practicing. That’s when you start to hit different shots: You’ll pinch one a little bit, you’ll skank one a little bit to see how it spins. That’s when you’re going to get a lot of your feedback. But you do need to see your numbers on TrackMan.”

With respect to his irons, Crocker sang the praises of the Z-945’s dual Tour V.T. Sole: “I’m a little steeper at impact, so they go through the ground a little better.”

He said the split set (Z-765 irons (4-5), Srixon Z-945 irons (6-P)), represented a change for him. “Putting the (4 and 5-iron) in play has been another game changer,” he said. “I’m hitting my long irons so much higher, so they’re landing a lot softer, and it’s easier to hit those closer.”

Speaking to the trend toward combo sets on Tour, Crocker said, “The game’s hard enough. So now you have this butter knife 4-iron. It still looks good to your eye, but guess what, you have an extra three centimeters on the clubface to hit with.”

Crocker is playing a second stage of Tour Qualifying event at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, starting November 7. He’s hoping to make it to the Final Stage, December 7.

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  1. Tomdick

    Nov 6, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    All the local clowns have been talking trash about this kid from the beginning. He just keeps proving them wrong. That’s what makes this kid great. The hush in this area is comical. They still can’t believe he was on tv in the semi’s against Bryson. He tied Jimmy Walker in Europe last month and has made the cut in most of his tour starts.

    I’m not saying he’s going to take down majors, but wait until his short game and putting take off.

  2. mM

    Nov 5, 2017 at 2:06 am

    A Taylormade driver though. lol

  3. Mark

    Nov 5, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Are Cleveland Precision Forged wedges and Cleveland RTX wedges one and the same model of wedge? I always thought they were different wedge models.

  4. 2putttom

    Nov 4, 2017 at 11:25 am

    this will be a great pairing for success

  5. SK

    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Cleveland’s “Precision Forged” is the same as “Coining” explained here:
    The clubhead is not hot forged from a red hot billet of steel; it is cast and then stamped to harden the surface while it is cold.
    Gullible golfers don’t know or care about what they are buying because they only buy brand and bling.

    • etc.

      Nov 4, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      So the precision forged clubs are only forged skin deep? Mizuno’s are fully hot forged, not ‘coined’.

  6. Phil

    Nov 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I wish someone would actually praise (and USE) Srixon’s driver and fairway woods!!!

    • Gilles

      Nov 5, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Why do you wish Srixon clubs deserve ‘praise’? What is so exceptional about them to make your wishes come true?

  7. Nick

    Nov 3, 2017 at 10:59 am

    This kid is going to be really good.

    • 2putttom

      Nov 4, 2017 at 11:24 am

      I agree

    • Gilles

      Nov 5, 2017 at 11:47 am

      I disagree. All he has done is capitalized on his amateur record with an equipment deal for Chinese clubs.

      • Anthony

        Nov 7, 2017 at 5:39 pm

        Chinese clubs? A little bit to the right and lower on the map?

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Popular Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Monday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play



GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club.

Like all WGC events, the best golfers in the world are in the field, so we’re capturing plenty of interesting shots of the biggest names in the game (and what they’re playing). From Monday’s preparations, we have two general galleries, a handful of WITB galleries, and a look at SuperStroke’s new wares.

Check out a curation of some of the most interesting shots from Monday in Austin.

Jon Rahm was swinging Phil Mickelson’s warm-up club here (left-handed)

Shubhankar Sharma loves himself some lead tape, Exhibit A

…and Exhibit B

Sharma also has a sweet Sanskrit-inspired Circle T putter cover

Here’s Tommy Fleetwood’s new wand

What is this Bridgestone Tour B wedge, Yusaka Miyazato?

Julian Suri: hungry

A first look at SuperStroke’s Soft Wrap

Chez Reavie may have the fluffiest canine headcover on Tour…

…and Jason Dufner’s pom-poms put all others to shame

Check out all our photos from Monday below!

Monday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Popular Photo Galleries

Monday’s Photos from the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play



GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event at Austin Country Club (par 71: 7,108 yards), a 1984 Pete Dye design.

The match play field is stacked, including the world No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson, the reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, the reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, and the two-time match play champion Jason Day. In total, 59 of the top 64 golfers in the world are playing in the event; Brooks Koepka (wrist), Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson will not be in the field.

Last year, D. Johnson won the match play event, which was his third straight victory — that was before the freak accident at the Masters that kept him sidelined, preventing him from going for four straight wins.

Check out our photos from the 2018 match play event below!

Monday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Tour Rundown: McIlroy returns to the winner’s circle in fashion



Golf fans everywhere had another week of Tiger Woods to spike the enthusiasm meter, and the resurgent cat did not disappoint. We’ll look into him in greater depth below. Four events were contested across the professional golfing globe, and each result earned our attention. As the major season draws ever closer, let’s run down the triumvirate of tournaments that ran past Pi Day and the Ides of March in 2018.

McIlroy returns to winner’s circle at Arnold Palmer Invitational

With Henrik Stenson, Woods and McIlroy all in the mix on Sunday afternoon, a return to the podium by one of the game’s current greats was nearly assured. McIlroy took charge in the middle of the back nine, with birdies on holes 13-16. That magnificent stretch vaulted the 4-time major champion to 17-under par, 3 shots clear of pursuers Stenson, Justin Rose and Bryson DeChambeau. At his heels, however, DeChambeau called out “not so fast!” as he closed within a stroke with an eagle at the 16th. McIlroy answered “I can’t hear you,” with another birdie of his own at the 18th, to reach 18-under. When Bryson failed to birdie 17 or 18, the title was McIlroy’s. The young Californian stood alone in 2nd place, 2 behind the champion and 1 clear of Stenson (70 for a 14-under total) and Rose (67.)

Related: Rory McIlroy’s Winning WITB

It seems like every contender was subjected to the chiding of a certain announcer, all weekend long. In McIlroy’s case, the solo debate centered on his fitness and musculature. No doubt that mid-20s Rors bears little resemblance to the curly-haired, younger version of himself. This assessment is off the mark; what ultimately matters is the putter, and it knows no muscle. McIlroy made putt after putt down the stretch, in addition to his chip-in on the 15th, and that was the difference. 8 birdies, 0 bogeys…that combination is hard to eclipse on a Sunday, in Florida, at the King’s palace.

Tiger Woods inches closer

By the numbers, the 14-time major champion needed to go 11 deep on Sunday to make a run at the title. An opening nine of 34, marred by a bogey at the 9th, made that outcome unlikely. As he stood on the 16th tee, Woods was 5-under on the day, and in the mix. Knowing that he needed eagle, his quest for a long drive ended out of bounds, leading to a bogey 6 on the hole. With his chances gone, Woods bogeyed 17 to finish minus-10 on the week, tied for 5th place with Ryan Moore. Tiger had solid rounds on 3 of 4 days, but his even-par 72 on Friday was too much to overcome. The field did its best to welcome him to the title chase with banal play in round 3, but Woods is still not yet Woods of yore. His Sunday was strong, but it needed to be perfect. His two mistakes (bogeys at 9 and 16) represented miscues that the legendary Tiger would not have allowed. The first bogey, at the 9th hole, was his second of the week there. Woods was 3-under for the day, and could not afford to give back a stroke. On 16, a hole that played like a short par four most of the day, Woods essentially double-bogeyed with his 6. When Woods does win again, both of those mistakes will have been eliminated.

LPGA Founders Cup to Inbee Park

She had the low round of the week on day two, she ran 4 consecutive birdies on Sunday’s back nine to stake her claim, and Inbee Park served notice that she is every bit the 19-event winner. After a slow start (1 birdie and 11 pars) to the final round, Park caught fire and won by 5 strokes over Marina Alex, Laura Davies and Ariya Jutanugarn. Both Alex and Davies had a chance to grab solo second, but each bogeyed the final hole. Park made history in 2016, when she won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Brasil. The Founders Cup was her first tour victory since last spring’s HSBC Women’s Championship. Of the runners-up, Alex stands out by virtue of having never won a professional title. The Vanderbilt alum has been in the mix in 2 of 3 events this season. Two weeks ago, she finished with 77 to drop out of contention. This week’s effort certainly advanced her confidence to close the deal one day soon. As for the only holder of knighthood in the field, the ageless Dame Laura Davies continues to demonstrate that natural gifts will always have their place in professional sport. Until this week, her last top-five finish came in 2014. Does she have one last victory in her? Here’s hoping!

Unheralded Polland claims first PGA Tour Latinoamerica title

Ben Polland completed his schooling in 2013 at North Carolina’s Campbell University, then set out to make a name on the professional tours of the world. He ranked 189th on the 2017 Web money list, compelling him to return to Q-School at season’s end, then beginning 2018 on the PGA Tour’s Latin America circuit. Polland’s only professional victory of note was the 2015 Bermuda Open, and his dossier lists his current affiliation as an assistant professional at Long Island’s Deepdale Club. Given all that, why shouldn’t he shoot consecutive rounds of 65, on his way to victory in the Guatemala Open?

Polland began the final round with a 3-stroke advantage over Bryan Martin, but the challenger sank fast with 73, ending in a tie for 7th. Tyler McCumber was 4 behind at dawn’s first light, but he also had his struggles on the day, dropping a slot to a 4th-place tie. Matt Gilchrest improved 11 strokes from day 1 (74) to day 2 (63) and might have won the event had Thursday been kinder. He closed with weekend rounds of 67-68 to finish tied for 2nd, 4 behind Polland. Tied with Gilchrest was Skyler Finnell, who play solid, upper-60s golf all week long. Had the putter warmed up enough to drop him to the mid or lower 60s on any given day, Finnell would have also given Polland some discomfort.

Jeffrey Kang follows Q-School win with tournament title on PGA Tour China Series

Jeffrey Kang, a Californian of Korean descent, didn’t like his chances after opening with 75 at the Chengdu Championship. After subsequent rounds of 63-66-64, Kang sat atop the field, champion of the season-opening event of the 2018 schedule. Kang’s final round, the low of the day, separated him from the field by 5 strokes. third-round leader Shunyat Hak stumbled out of the gate on day 4, making bogey on the par-5 first hole. The remained of the day was birdie-bogey trade-off, resulting in a 73 for -14, and a tie for 5th. The biggest threat to Kang was William Harold, who signed for a 5-under 31 on the outward half. Harold hit a wall, however, stringing 9 consecutive pars to end his day. Against Kang’s inward 9 of -4 32, 36 was simply not good enough.

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