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Sergio Garcia on his U.S. Open putter switch, World Cup thoughts

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With the start of the World Cup just a few days away, one Spain supporter arrived at the Adidas Flagship store on Fifth Avenue to check out the wares, make a custom jersey at the print shop and…talk to reporters ahead of his 76th straight major appearance.

Sergio Garcia, the La Roja fan in question, took a quick chopper ride into Midtown from Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, site of the 118th U.S. Open, for a meet and greet yesterday; he was kind enough to talk to GolfWRX for a few minutes.

Photo by Tom Bender.

Q. Any equipment tweaks for Shinnecock?

A. Not really. Just a new putter; but other than that, pretty much the same stuff. But I’m just excited to be there after 2004 [Garcia tied for 20th].

Q. So no adjustment to the wedges? No new grinds?

A. No. I’ll go to the course tomorrow and see how it feels. But I don’t think I’ll be changing much at all…the way I look at it, it’s not easy to practice with something all the time and then come in two days before the tournament and change everything. Unless it’s really radical–the course is extra firm or something like that–I’ll usually just deal with it.

Q. And then the putter: tell us a bit more about that.

A. I’ve got one of the [Odyssey] EXOs [Rossie X]. A little bit more of a…half moon shape with a little bit more weight on it. It swings a little bit easier. (See in-hand photos of Sergio’s putter here)

Q. Since we’re here at Adidas, and you’ve been signed with the company for nearly 20 years, I wonder about your exposure to the brand was before you signed…maybe when you were younger, watching soccer?

A. I’ve always been a huge soccer fan, as everyone knows, and I played it myself, so I’ve always been connected to Adidas from a very young age. Obviously, when it comes to golf, they started just around the time I turned pro…so it fitted nicely–me being European, I felt very connected…it was a perfect fit from the beginning…

Q. Two decades. A lot has changed in terms of apparel and footwear in that time, hasn’t it?

A. I think of 1999-2000, and it doesn’t feel like it was almost 20 years ago…it feels like maybe five or six years ago. But the quality of everything, every single aspect of clothing, shoes, hats…has come a long, long way. It’s an honor to be partnered with a company that is fighting to become so much better every single time…the way they’ve introduced new materials, always innovating…they’re doing things that are not only good for us, the athletes, but for the environment. [They’re doing] those things that are easy to say, but are not always easy to do.

Photo by Tom Bender.

Q. Cool. So, World Cup. I was looking at the Official FIFA Ranking, and I think Spain is No. 10. I saw a couple of power rankings that had them at, like, No. 2 or No. 5. How do you like their chances?

A. To be totally honest, I like the team we have. It’s a little bit younger team. Some good young players. It’s just a matter of seeing how fresh they are…some of them have had really long seasons with Real Madrid and Barcelona. A lot of games. So it’s always a bit of a question…to see if they get in a rhythm. It isn’t easy.

And the other teams, they’ve all improved so much. Any team that maybe 10 or 12 years ago…you struggle to beat them 1-0 or 2-0.

Photo by Tom Bender.

Related: See our most recent WITB for Sergio here.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. HDTVMAN

    Jun 13, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Still have a White Hot Rossie, but gotta get that new EXO Rossie S…it’s gorgeous!

  2. golfraven

    Jun 13, 2018 at 9:47 am

    The fella holding the putter looks like a young Tiger. The guy in the back went over the top with his Adidas socks. Sergio is class when meeting young kids or any fan – he spent some time taking pictures and chatting to my wife and son not long ago. I have a picture with him couple of years back too. Certainly cheering for him – Vamos Sergio

  3. gif

    Jun 13, 2018 at 1:10 am

    … [Odyssey] EXOs [Rossie X]…. wow, good to know… microhinged face too… potent putter… 😮

    • golfraven

      Jun 13, 2018 at 9:42 am

      The EXO putters are killer but so are the prices. You are talking twice the price of a current iWorks model. However if I was in the market for a new putter the Exo #7 would be my first choice. Great looking club and the insert is awesome – I rolled all balls into the hole from every possible distance, not that it counts.

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19th Hole

I wasn’t ready for the 2019 Rules of Golf

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We weren’t ready. We thought we were, but we weren’t.

For the last year, the USGA reminded us that in 2019 Rules of Golf were coming, but we didn’t listen. We heard the flag stick could remain in and we heard that you could take a penalty drop from knee-height.

But we didn’t listen.

I bet none of you have even practiced using your putter to flatten the entire green between your ball and the cup. You can do that now.

I’m also sure that you and I will continue to hover our club in all hazards, er, penalty areas. Yeah, we’re calling it a penalty area now.

The USGA went to the extreme depths of changing words all to simplify the game for you.

I don’t think the USGA listened either.

The rule changes were intended to speed up play and simplify golf for amateurs. Seems like a good idea. In turn, they may have bamboozled the PGA Tour while confusing the only amateurs who kind-of, sort-of knew the rules.

The pros didn’t need a new rule book, the amateurs just needed a simple one.

Us “locals” as the USGA refers to amateurs, do have one extremely fluid perk. When hitting a ball OB, or following a lost ball, you can drop with a two-stroke penalty instead of walking back to the tee. This of course, is dependent on your course, head professional, tournament conditions, and other factors including and not limited to what phase the moon is in.

If that’s somewhat confusing, read up, ask about your local rules, and buy a few extra sleeves. Reason being, in 2019, the limit on searching for a golf ball has been cut from five to three minutes.

2019-rules-of-golf

But wait, there’s good news.

Thanks to the USGA, if you accidentally move your ball as you frantically high-step through fescue, it’s no longer a penalty! What an exciting 180 seconds that will be!

If you somehow don’t find your golf ball in the hazard penalty area, the USGA tried to help us out, which they did, yet regrettably took away a more iconic portrait on the golf course.

The rigid, stoic stance and forceful drop of a ball at shoulder-height.

And we let it happen.

Now, we’ll watch a defeated man deliberately bend to his knees and gingerly drop his ball…Which, by the way, appears to be a convenient way for cheaters to “take a drop” that ideally doubles as “identifying my first ball”.

Don’t even get me started on the back issues this could flare up.

We heard in late 2018 that Bryson DeChambeau would use the flagstick when the odds were in his favor. He even laid it out simply for us.

“It depends on the COR, the coefficient of restitution of the flagstick.”

Simple.

We didn’t listen Bryson, we didn’t believe. We also have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

But hey, as Bryson would say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Yeah, he’d clearly never say that, but here’s to hoping!

We heard he would do it, but we didn’t believe it. We had to see to believe. What we saw was DeChambeau first in strokes gained putting in the very first round he was allowed to do it.

Obviously, this trend will continue for DeChambeau, and others may join in, because what is golf if not a constant chase for a marginally better opportunity at success.

Watch your back, because those others that may join in could be closer than you think. You may turn around to find a fellow member asking for the flag on their next 12-footer.

It should be a fun year of commentary and confusion at your local club and on the PGA tour. Professionals will have constant questions for rules officials, and commentators will consistently question Bryson’s methods.

There is one real question I hope is answered this April.

What will we do when Bryson banks in a downhill putt at No. 2 of Augusta?

Will we be ready? Will Augusta?

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News

Stewart Cink pens multi-year deal with Ping

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Ping Golf has announced that six-time winner on the PGA Tour, Stewart Cink, has signed a multi-year deal with the company.

The deal will see the American play a minimum of 11 Ping clubs, as he looks to end an almost decade long winless streak on the PGA Tour. Cink had previously been an equipment-free agent (having been a Nike man prior to that) although he had been using Ping clubs for the majority of the last season.

Speaking on the addition of Stewart Cink to Team Ping, company president John K. Solheim stated

“Stewart has a long track record of success and overall consistency, evidenced by his wins, top 10s in majors, and the fact that he has competed on five U.S. Ryder Cup teams and in four Presidents Cups.

“He has instant credibility, and we know him well because he has played Ping irons for many years. Our tour staff has been impressed by his professionalism and his knowledge of equipment. We’re delighted to be associated with Stewart.”

Cink will make his first start as a Ping staff player at this week’s Sony Open. According to the company, the 2009 Open Championship winner is expected to have Ping’s G400 LST driver, G400 fairways woods, i25 irons and Sigma 2 Arna putter in the bag this week at Waialae Country Club.

No details of the financial terms of the arrangement have been disclosed.

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Equipment

Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65

Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 4-iron, Titleist 718 AP2 (5-7), Titleist 718 CB (8-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)

SEA ISLAND, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Charles Howell lll tees off on the eighth hole tee box during the third round of The RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 17, 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)

RELATED: See what members are saying about CH III’s equipment in the forums.

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19th Hole

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