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Tour Mash: Matsuyama repeats, Garcia wins in Dubai

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The week of the NFL’s big game was an exciting one on three of the world’s professional golf tours. The PGA Tour visited Scottsdale, while the European Tour stopped in Dubai. The Asian Tour was in Bangladesh and an important amateur event was contested in coastal Georgia.

No performance was as unbelievable as Tom Brady’s, but they came close. Let’s Mash On!

PGA Tour: Matsuyama repeats at WM Phoenix Open

Hideki Matsuyama dispatched another American golfer in extra holes at TPC Scottsdale, making birdie for the second consecutive year on Sunday’s 22nd hole. Last year, it was Rickie Fowler. This year, he sent Webb Simpson away with a runner-up finish. In the process, Matsuyama moved ahead of Justin Thomas and into first place in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings.

The day began with Byeong Hun An in first place. An, the 2009 U.S. Amateur and 2015 BMW PGA champion, turned to Sunday’s back nine with a three-stroke lead. An inward 40 dropped him to sixth place, opening the door for runs by a number of players. None was more brilliant than Simpson, whose 18th-hole birdie completed a round of 64. Matsuyama had putts to win on each of the last three regulation holes, but he burned the edge on each.

Related: Hideki Matsuyama’s Winning WITB

Demonstrating the patience of a champion for the ages, Matsuyama matched Simpson shot for shot until they reached the 17th hole for the first time in extra holes. There, Matsuyama finally knocked down a birdie putt and the fourth PGA Tour trophy of his career was in his grasp.

No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale: Brilliant, but…

I’ve a congregation of suggestions for the Waste Management team for next year, but I’ll limit it to a trio. Payment may be offered in free garbage pickup for a lifetime.

  1. Entrance Music: Yup, just like batters and relief pitchers in MLB. They come through the tunnel, why not bring them in… in style?
  2. Mascot Races: We get that some health concerns (heart attack, sprains) were offered as the demise for the caddie races. Fair. How about mascot races? Get someone dressed in the college or country colors of each golfer and have those mascots make a dash for the green.
  3. Swag Slingshots: It’s great that the tour guys feed the animals with personalized swag, but in reality it’s only the front-row folks that benefit. Take a book out of the David v. Goliath showdown and #BringTheSling. Gun some of the tees and the… whatever else into the upper decks.

European Tour: Garcia becomes 4th Spaniard to Claim Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Sergio Garcia played a bogey-free final round on Sunday in Dubai to claim his 12th European Tour title. Following in the spikemarks of countrymen Ballesteros, Olazabal and Jimenez, the world’s best iron player drove a dagger into the hopes of Open champion and nearest pursuer Henrik Stenson on the par-3 15th hole. With his lead whittled to two slim strokes, Garcia capitalized on a wayward Stenson tee shot with a dart to two feet to seize a four-stroke lead.

Showing all the signs of a mature golfing professional, Garcia took no risks on his road to victory. Stenson made birdie at the last to close the gap to three, finishing second alone on 16-under. Lasse Jensen of Denmark had the round of the day, a seven-under 65, which vaulted him all the way to a tie for 3rd with Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Related: Sergio Garcia’s Winning WITB

Filed under Headline We Wanted To Write required a victory by Li Haotong, who tied for 39th. On this #BigGame Sunday, we would have lead with “Super Bowl LI.”

Asian Tour: Jazz wins Bangladesh Open

And I used to think that my last name was legendary! Jazz Janewattananond opened with 64 at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open. Then he followed it with three more rounds in the 60s and won going away by four strokes for his first Asian Tour victory.

The young Thai golfer held off local legend Siddikur Rahman with a flawless four-birdie, zero-bogey final round. A bogey on the 13th hole ended Rahman’s chance at the title. American Dodge Kemmer came in third, two behind Siddikur and six back of the champion.

Filed under Things We Learned While Scrolling Twitter: Fourth-place finisher Panuphol Pittayarat has the handle of the week. Happy birthday, @ProCoconut.

Amateur Golf: Jones Cup in hands of Thornberry

Braden Thornberry of Ole Miss thrust his name into the mix of the U.S. Walker Cup team with a five-stroke win at the prestigious Jones Cup Invitational. Contested at the Ocean Forest Club on Sea Island, Georgia, Thornberry began the week with a 67 on Friday, two strokes clear of Bryson Nimmer and Sam Burns. Only Thornberry played near par during the remaining two rounds. Max McGreevy of the University of Oklahoma closed with 70, the low round on Sunday, to move into second place. High school golfer Cole Hammer of Houston place third, one back of McGreevy and six behind the champion.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mark

    Feb 8, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Hideki is now the best player on the planet. Sweden waited a long time for a men’s major. I think Japan will get one this year.

  2. Tom54

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Now that Sergio is engaged he might not beat himself up so much over his golf. He certainly has the talent. I wish him well.

    • Ronald Montesano

      Feb 6, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Astute observation. I think he was always chasing Tiger, because he was told to do so. He was unable to measure himself in any other way.

  3. mlecuni

    Feb 6, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I wish to Hideki and Sergio a major win this year !

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Tour News

Genesis Invitational Tour Truck Report: DJ testing driver shafts, Xander’s new irons

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It’s always a big week at Riviera, but from a tour truck standpoint, it was actually pretty mellow. Some testing here and there with the big news being DJ testing a bunch of driver shafts. Anytime a world No. 1 does anything to his setup, it’s always news.

Titleist

Brian Harman switched into a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X  in his TSi2 (9 degrees). 

Lanto Griffin went from TSi2 (10 degrees) driver to TSi3 driver (10 degrees). His shaft of choice is the Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5 TX.

Aaron Dill AKA @vokeywedgerep

Lots of fresh grooves this week (staffers)

Cam Davis 60T

Jordan Spieth 60T

Matt Jones 60-12D

Adam Scott 60-12D @10 (new)

Robert Streb 60-04L

“Adam Scott is making changes to his 60-12D. Mentioned with firmer conditions, he wanted to feel less forward bounce on his lob wedge.  Took his 60-12D and reduced forward bounce and camber down two degrees.  This allowed the face to get closer to the ground and move his strike a little higher up the face in increasing his launch slightly.”

Ping

Scott Harrington put a new G425 LST 3-wood (14.5 degrees) in the bag this week. It’s equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X shaft.

Kevin Streelman (non-staffer) added a bit of loft to his G425 LST (9 degrees). Streelman still has the five-plus-year-old Aldila Rogue Silver 125MSI 70 TX.

TaylorMade

Collin Morikawa tested irons with TaylorMade rep Adrian Rietveld working back into a combo set he has preferred in the past. The current combo this week with TaylorMade’s P7MC (4-6) into P730 (7-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Collin Morikawa WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 9.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited  70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium “Rocket” (14 degrees @ 13.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited D+ 80 TX

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM2 Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-6), TaylorMade P730 (7-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-14F) TaylorMade Hi Toe2 (60-07LB)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade FCG

Ball: TP5 21

Rather monumental potential iron shaft switch for Rory McIlroy: @trottiegolf shared a truck ticket with an order for a new set of P7MB’s with True Temper Dynamic Gold X7’s. We will see if they go in play.

 

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A post shared by Chris Trott (@trottiegolf)

Dustin Johnson was doing some serious shaft testing this week and was spotted with a LAGP Proto “Made for DJ” prototype. Johnson is currently trying to find a shaft that would complement the SIM2/Max head. This particular prototype has a VERY stable tip, which complements DJ’s desire to never miss it left.

LAG DJ Proto 2 of 2 (LAG made two trotos to test). The shaft is 73 grams, which is a bit heavier than his normal gamer.

If it goes in this week, we will get more info. Stay tuned.

Callaway

Xander Schauffele put a new set of “Raw” TCB irons in play (4-PW) with Nippon Pro Modus3 130X shafts. Xander was also testing a Mavrik Sub Zero 4-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X and Mavrik 7-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 X. He will also most likely have his Mizuno MP-20 HMB 3-iron in play this week at Riviera.

Kevin Na tested an Epic Speed Sub Zero Triple Diamond (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6 TX shaft.

Francesco Molinari tested an Epic Speed Triple Diamond driver (9 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X and an Epic Speed 3-wood (15 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7 X. 

Marc Leishman was also testing Epic Speed Triple Diamond (9) with a Fujikura Speeder EVO IV 757 TX.

ScottEG/KBS

Luke List had a new set of PXG 0311 ST irons built up with KBS Tour V 125 S+ shafts.

Bryson Dechambeau made some loft adjustments to his SIK Proto putter. BAD was looking to add a bit of loft to get the ball on top of the grass a bit better heading into the Florida swing.

Free agents/miscellaneous

Charl Schwartzel was testing Mitsubishi Chemical’s new Kai’li Blue 70 TX and 80 TX shafts in his TaylorMade SIM2 3- and 5-woods.

Harold Varner III tested a Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees @11.5) with a Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 7 X shaft.

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Interesting photos from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (plus links to all galleries)

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A tour event at one of the world’s most recognizable golf course—what more could you ask for?

This week, the PGA Tour is at Pebble Beach (without the amateurs) and we were on-site to spy some interesting things from the grounds.

Don’t forget that you can check out the full image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Duval is back!

David Duval is in the field this week and it looks like he has a bag full of Titleist gear including the popular T100 irons.

We spotted some classics

After finding a trusted 3-wood, some of the hardest clubs to replace are hybrids, and based on the age of both of the clubs above, we also don’t imagine them being changed now until they break.

Top – Nike VR Pro hybrid with Matrix Ozik Altus shaft
Bottom – Adams Idea Pro Gold “boxer” square hybrid

Daly has the full spectrum covered

John Daly is by every account a complete feel player, so it should be no surprise to see him using such a precise flatstick—a Scotty Cameron Circle T Napa blade. On the other side of things, everyone likes a little extra distance, and he is also using TaylorMade 770s

An early contender for fairway shaft of the year?

There must be something to the Fujkura Ventus red and its performance in fairway woods because each week we continue to spot more and more showing up in players’ bags – and this week is no exception.

So much shade

Hunter Mahan’s sunglasses have me asking only one question “How fast was I going, officer?”

Ping is bringing the heat with its hats

Ping is generally subdued when it comes to their marketing, but Michael Thompson’s very forward G425 hats sure make a statement.

Luke Donald rocking Jumpman

Luke Donald has a long-standing relationship with MJ (you know you’re a big name when you just need your initials) and this week at Pebble, Luke has some fresh kicks to keep his feet comfy around the hilly Pebble terrain.

Callaway TCB growing in popularity

The Callaway Apex TCB irons (currently a Europe-only release) are growing in popularity on tour, just as fast as the new X-Forged and Apex Pro. Could these become the next Callaway clubs to see a limited release like the Triple Diamond driver?

Fastest growing irons on tour?

When it comes to new irons, the Srixon ZX7 are hot! Srixon hasn’t had an iron picked up this fast on tour since the release of the original Z745, and based on a recent win by a non-staffer, they’re not slowing down anytime soon.

Cink sticking with Accra

The club builder-focused shaft brand has been a mainstay in Cink’s bag for quite a while now and considering he is using a G410, it’s probably not going anywhere.

Epic caddie duster

I bet you could clean the grooves of a dirty wedge with that thing!

Ryan Moore: Someone call the hoodie police

Ryan’s is once again a free agent, and the new Srixon hybrid must be serving him well, plus I like the hoodie (if you don’t, quit being such a curmudgeon). He was also spotted using an Axis 1 putter (below).

Power up, Super Mario-style

Great socks! I’d recognize that little mustachioed plumber anywhere.

I spy a Deadhead

See all our photos from Pebble Beach below

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Interesting photos from the Waste Management Phoenix Open (plus links to all WMPO galleries)

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The Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the most popular events on tour, and this week we were on and off-site capturing images from both the Monday Qualifier and from the Tuesday practice rounds at TPC Scottsdale.

Considering how many professional golfers live in the Scottsdale area, as well as Ping and PXG headquartered nearby, it has a major “home town” event vibe for many of the pros and these are the most interesting images we saw from Tuesday.

Don’t forget that you can check out the full image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

New 2021 Titleist tour staff bag

Titleist recently updated its carry bags for 2021, and it appears that the company has also quietly updated tour staff bags too.

Rahm loves to mess with setup

A quick count shows that John Rahm has 14 clubs in his bag—before you count anything with a headcover. This is not unusual for Rahm since he often changes clubs based on course conditions, I just feel for his caddie.

Erik van Rooyen is looking sharp

Lookout Adam Scott and Rafa Cabrera Bello, Erik looks to quickly be moving towards gaining the title of the best-dressed golfer on tour.

Link Soul carry bag

Although it has become a bit more popular recently, lighter weight stand bags are still not that common on the PGA Tour, and to see such a minimalist bag is even rarer – this player must really like his caddy.

Jason Day’s WITB

Equipment free-agents always has the most interesting golf bag setups and Jason Day certainly has a mixed bag of gear.

Zach Johnson’s camo PXG bag

PXG embraces camo prints any chance it can, and Zack Johnson’s camo bag is one of the most unique on tour.

db_straitvibin, aka Daniel Berger, still kicking it old school (plus a new driver)

Daniel Berger continues to play the 2011 TaylorMade TP MC forged irons, and it’s a delight to see these gems continue to rake in money on tour.

Be a bulldog

It’s usually Ping bags that we spot with custom university colourways, but this TaylorMade Georgia Bulldogs bag is looking sharp in the land of the Sun Devils.

It’s still “putt for dough”

The putting green is always full of interesting contraptions, and this week we spotted a number of things from a BGT Stability shaft, to a bungee cord, and an alignment stick.

We also saw a cool new training aid, which appears to be a tempo training device.

See all our photos from TPC Scottsdale below.

General galleries

Special galleries

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