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Why the R&A tested 30 players’ drivers at The Open

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Yesterday in the Morning 9, we discussed Tim Rosaforte’s report that the R&A randomly tested 30 players drivers for COR conformance at the British Open.

It seems, however, that while the drivers were randomly chosen, players knew the testing was coming. According to Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard, both players and OEMs were notified three weeks ago that the R&A intended to check drivers.

Traditionally, the R&A and USGA test COR on clubs from manufacturers, not players’ gamers.

“We take our governance role very seriously, not just on the Rules of Golf and amateur status, but also equipment standards, and we felt it was an appropriate next step to more actively seek to test players’ drivers straight out of the bag,” Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive, told Golf Channel.

Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, and Henrik Stenson were among those tested (should’ve tested Stenson’s 3-wood!). No violations were reported at the practice range test center.

Interestingly/conspiracy alert: Rory McIlroy floated the idea that TaylorMade (his equipment sponsor, was “singled out a bit more than anyone else.”

“A manufacturer is always going to try and find ways to get around what the regulations are. It’s a bit of an arms race,” McIlroy said.

That said, randomness or the size of TaylorMade’s market share could account for number of M3 and M4s tested, rather than being “singled out” as McIlroy suggested.

While this is the first such testing at The Open, the R&A apparently tested drivers at a Japan Golf Tour event earlier this year.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. max

    Jul 19, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    On a week where hardly anybody is actually hitting driver….

  2. iye

    Jul 18, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    FBI/CIA/NSA…. planning elimination of POTUS…. believe it!

    • Geohogan

      Jul 19, 2018 at 8:41 am

      FBI/CIA/NSA…. planning elimination of POTUS…. believe it!

      lye,
      Wouldnt, not believe but of course its true but then there are a lot of truths out there, so no, I believe, yes.

  3. Caroline

    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    So funny, guys get over it, Pro golfers are just better then you or I…there is no secret clubs or balls on tour…maybe better balance and set up of clubs, but just as the players as good as they can be……You want to play the best set up top line clubs….work hard and get yourself on tour…

  4. Geohogan

    Jul 18, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    What kind of random test lets golfers and mfg know in advance that tests will be performed at a specific event?

    Once again the USGA is exposed for what it is .. or isnt.

  5. 2putttom

    Jul 18, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    would of been nice to see the name s of all the players involved.

  6. MCoz

    Jul 18, 2018 at 10:52 am

    All of the club heads that go the tour department from TMinnesota are each individually tested and marked as a regular course of action. They will have a small grayish Mark in the center.

  7. larrybud

    Jul 18, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Do we know the results?

    • Thomas A

      Jul 18, 2018 at 10:26 am

      “No violations were reported at the practice range” per the article above with words in it.

    • Geohogan

      Jul 18, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      the players and manufacturers were given advance notice of the “random” tests and your asking if anyone failed the test? You have to be kidding!

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 Barracuda Championship

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GolfWRX is on site this week for the PGA Tour’s only Modified Stableford event, the Barracuda Championship.

We have plenty of galleries from Truckee, California, assembled for your viewing pleasure, so let’s get to it.

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Tour Rundown: Furious finish from Furue | Mighty Mac wins for country

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The second week of July brought two major championships to the professional tours. The LPGA held its Evian Championship at Evian-Les-Bains, while the PGA Tour Champions celebrated the Kaulig at Firestone. The DP World Tour and the PGA Tour collaborated on the Scottish Open, while another PGA Tour event took place in Kentucky. Finally, the Korn Ferry Tour held The Ascendant at TPC Colorado.

To say that the drama was real is an understatement. Eagles and birdies won two tournaments on the final hole, and one event finished with a five-golfer playoff that lasted three holes and 36 shots. The one competition that concluded with a four-shot win was tame by comparison. It’s mid-season and it’s total tour golf. Time for another Tour Rundown.

LPGA @ Evian Championship: Furious Finish from Furue

Ayaka Furue made a run at the past two US Open championships, finishing T6 at both tournaments. She made an even bigger run at the fourth LPGA major championship of 2024, the Evian. Furue held the lead after two rounds, only to find herself one behind Stephanie Kyriacou through the end of day three. The top pair did mighty battle on day four, with Kyriacou closing with 67 to reach 18 under par. Her finish included three birdies over the final four holes, marred only by a bogey at the penultimate green.

Unfortunately for Kyriacou, Furue made a trio of birdies of her own down the stretch, made a par at 17, then closed with a thunderous eagle at the last, to win the title by one slim stroke. The win was Furue’s second on the LPGA circuit, coming nearly two years after her inaugural win, at the 2022 Scottish Open. For Kyriacou, the Evian was a painful step closer to her first LPGA win. The solo second represents her first top-five finish on the tour.

DP World Tour/PGA Tour @ Scottish Open: Mighty Mac wins Scottish for country

Adam Scott appeared to have his hands around a comeback victory at the Rennaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. The Australian held the lead in the closing moments, but Robert MacIntyre came from nearly nowhere, to bring victory to his countrymen.

Scott teed off in the penultimate pairing, with American Collin Morikawa, and posted 67 to reach 17 under par. The final duo contained MacIntyre, who electrified the assemblage with a 16th-hole eagle, surging into a tie with Scott. On the 18th hole, the same one that Rory McIlroy birdied last year for victory, MacIntyre ripped driver into the right rough, then ripped his approach to 22 feet. With nothing but homeland glory on the line, the lefty dropped his putt for three and a one-shot win over Scott. In the space of two months, MacIntyre has climbed from the ranks of decent tour players to proven winners. He certainly emerges as one of the favorites for this week’s Open Championship at Royal Troon.

Korn Ferry Tour @ The Ascendant: Del Solar is no longer “just” Mr. 57

Cristobal Del Solar is a mighty talent from the world’s thinnest country. The Chilean was known best for his four PGA Tour Americas titles, and the 57 that he shot in February of 2024, at the Colombian stop on the Korn Ferry Tour. After a 22-under-par performance at TPC Colorado this week, Del Solar now adds another line to his Wikipedia entry: tour champion. Del Solar outpaced runners-up Brian Campbell and Matthew Riedel by four shots, to win for the first time on the KFT.

Del Solar had just four bogeys on the week in the elite air of the Rocky Mountains. He nearly matched that number with eagles, including two on the closing day. The champion reached the 646-yard fifth in two mighty strokes, then holed a 33-foot putt for the rare bird. He followed that master sequence with another, at the 585-yard 15th. Despite the watery beckons on the right, Del Solar again reached the putting surface in two, then sent a 40-foot effort to the bottom of the tin. He added birdies at 16 and 18, turning a compelling finish into a runaway victory.

PGA Tour Champions @ Kaulig: With no Bert in sight, Ernie takes care of business

Since he turned 50 in 2020, Theodore Ernie Els had finished inside the top ten in 12 senior major events. Until Sunday the 14th of July, he had not hoisted a single, senior major trophy. That all ended when he outlasted a field at the Kaulig (nee Senior Players) Championship at Firestone. Els was pitted in a duel with perennial finisher Steve Stricker, until the Wisconsin stalwart went bogey-triple at the 14th and 15th holes on day four. The path to the top was cleared a bit for Els, but then Y.E. Yang arrived on the scene. The 2009 PGA Champion reached 10-under on the week at the 69th hole, but bogeyed number 72 to finish at nine deep.

Els appeared to not want the title that much when he made bogey at the par-five 16th hole, falling to minus ten. He dug deep himself, however, and managed a pair of pars to hold off Yang by one shot. Jerry Kelly finished third on minus-seven, while Stricker and K.J. Choi finished T4 at six under par.

PGA Tour @ ISCO: Hall (no Oates) emerges from crowd with win

No true fan of golf considers the Open Championship to be THE event of July. It’s tournaments like the ISCO, where the grinders and journeymen find salvation, security, glory, and truth, that define the essence of professional sport. Once again on Sunday, the fairway fighters of men’s professional golf took to the corridors of Keene Trace to find the magic that extends careers, defines them, and encourages their inauguration.

Harry Hall is a 26-year-old competitor from England. Before he could consider the football match between his home country and Spain, the UNLV alumnus had other business to sort. Hall found himself in second place after 54 holes, one shot out of the lead. Trouble was, a number of other, hungry golfers also posed a challenge. Among them were leader Pierceson Coody, golfer-turned-architect-turned-golfer Zac Blair, Rico Hoey, and Matt NeSmith. Four golfers would reach 20-under par, but that labor would earn them but a four-way tie for sixth.

The aforementioned quintet, with Sunday numbers like 69, 64, 64, 69, and 70, would meet at the crossroads of 22-under and tied for first. Hoey and NeSmith each made bogey at the last, to fall to that status, while Coody and Blair made closing birdies to rise up. Only Hall made par at the final, regulation green. Three holes later, he would also stand alone. Bogeys at the 18th in overtime meant a farewell cap tip for Hoey and Blair. After the surviving triumvirate again made pars during round two at the watery closer, the playoff shifted to the par-three ninth. Both Coody and NeSmith missed the green left, then pitched within ten feet for par. They never had a chance to hit their putts.

With all the improbability that a 45-feet chip brings, Hall found landing spot, line, and pace, then merged the three for the perfect stroke. He drained the recovery shot for a deuce and a first PGA Tour victory. On to Royal Troon!

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Robert MacIntyre’s winning WITB: 2024 Genesis Scottish Open

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Driver: Titleist TSR2 (9 degrees, D4 SureFit setting) Buy here.
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X

3-wood: Titleist GT3 (15 degrees) Buy here.
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Rescue (19 degrees) Buy here.
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 105 X

Irons: Titleist 620 CB (4-9) Buy here.
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (46-10F) Buy here, SM9 (50-08F, 56-10S) Buy here, WedgeWorks (60-08K) Buy here.
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Onyx (46, 50), Dynamic Gold S400 Onyx (56, 60)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Buy here.
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Pistol

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Buy here.

Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord (woods, wedges), Grip Master (irons)

Check out more in-hand photos of Robert MacIntyre’s clubs here.

The winning WITB is presented by 2nd Swing Golf. 2nd Swing has more than 100,000 new and pre-swung golf clubs available in six store locations and online. Check them out here.

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