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Morning 9: Monahan: Pleased with progress | Rory resigns from PGA Tour Policy Board

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, as we gear up for the RSM Classic.

1. Monahan: “Pleased with progress” at policy board meeting

PGATour.com staff report…”Commissioner Monahan also wrote in Tuesday’s memo that the PGA TOUR remains focused on negotiations toward a Definitive Agreement with the PIF and the DP World Tour after a Framework Agreement between the parties was reached June 6. Commissioner Monahan said the TOUR remains focused on the negotiations but characterized the progress as “deliberate,” citing the complex nature of the negotiations.”

  • “The Framework Agreement also generated what Commissioner Monahan described as “unsolicited, but unsurprising” interest from outside investors, and several of those proposals were reviewed Monday by the Independent Directors and Player Directors, with input from Allen & Co., the TOUR’s investment bank, and The Raine Group. The potential final minority investor or investors will be selected “in a timely manner,” Commissioner Monahan wrote.”
  • “Maintaining and growing comprehensive player earnings is one of several criteria the TOUR is using in evaluating investors’ proposals. TOUR management also has designed a potential program that would award players equity in the newly formed PGA TOUR Enterprises.”
  • “This would be a unique offering in professional sports, as no other league grants its players/members direct equity ownership in the league’s business,” Commissioner Monahan wrote. “We recognize – as do all of the prospective minority investors who are in dialogue with us – that the PGA TOUR will be stronger with our players more closely aligned with the commercial success of the business.”
Full piece.

2. New board member

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach…”The tour also announced that Joseph W. “Joe” Gorder, executive chairman of Valero Energy Corporation, has been unanimously approved to replace former independent director Randall Stephenson on the policy board.”

  • “Stephenson, a former AT&T chairman, resigned in protest over the PIF deal.”
  • “I am honored to be joining the PGA Tour Policy Board,” Gorder said in a statement. “I’ve truly enjoyed my engagement with the PGA TOUR through the Valero Texas Open, and I am excited to step into this role for the PGA TOUR and its members, as we continue to cultivate growth and success for this proud organization, its passionate fanbase and its engaged communities.”
Full piece.

3. McIlroy: “Loose lips sink ships”

Via BBC’s Ian Carter…”The bids were discussed by the tour earlier this week, but details are scarce. “I think if you were in the middle of it, you would see that there’s a path forward,” McIlroy said.”

  • “It’s just that no one on the outside has any details. Loose lips sink ships, so we are trying to keep it tight and within walls. I’m sure when there’s news to tell, it will be told.”
  • “More from McIlroy…”I think getting something done sooner rather than later is a good thing,” McIlroy said.”
  • “Because you know, even if we get a deal done, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually going to happen.
  • “That’s up to the United States government at that point, and whether the Department of Justice think that it’s the right thing to do or whether anti-competitive or whatever.
  • “Even if a deal does get done, it’s not a sure thing. So yeah, we are just going to have to wait and see. But in my opinion, the faster something gets done, the better.”
Full piece.

4. Jin Young Ko slated for MRI on knee

Amy Rogers for Golf Channel…”Jin Young Ko will be playing through injury for the third straight year at the CME Group Tour Championship.”

  • “Tuesday at Tiburon Golf Club, the two-time Tour Championship winner was seen wearing a brace on her left knee in preparation for the final event of the LPGA season. Ko declined to talk, but her team told GolfChannel.com that the former world No. 1 suffered a knee injury at The Annika and that she began experiencing pain on the fifth hole during the first round of last week’s event. Ko purchased a knee brace on Monday and wore it during Tuesday’s nine-hole practice round and during her time on the practice putting green. Ko’s team said she’s experiencing discomfort when she both walks and swings.”
Full piece.

5. McIlroy “probably” putting a new driver in play

GolfWRX report…”Ergo, McIlroy would relish the opportunity to see if he could level up his off-the-tee game even further (the Ulsterman was second in strokes gained: off the tee in 2022-2023).”

  • “It’s anything but surprising, then, that McIlroy has been practicing with the club and told the DP World Tour social media team, “You’ll probably see a new driver in the bag this week.”
  • “I still want to go out there and try to win the golf tournament, but it could be a good time to test it out in competition,” McIlroy said of the new TaylorMade Qi10 LS driver.
  • “We’ll have to wait until Thursday’s opening round at Jumeirah Golf Estates to see if McIlroy does in fact put the club through its competitive paces.”
Full piece.

6. Chris Kirk given Courage Award

PGATour.com staff report…”The PGA TOUR announced Tuesday that Chris Kirk has been named the recipient of the PGA TOUR Courage Award.”

  • “Kirk, 38, took a leave of absence from the TOUR in May of 2019 to address issues of alcohol abuse and depression. He returned to the TOUR later that year after a break of more than six months, regained exempt status in 2021 through a Major Medical Extension, and in 2023 earned his fifth PGA TOUR title and first since 2015.”
  • “I didn’t really feel like I was going to play golf again much less be here with all of you and to have won again on the TOUR. I’m really just blown away,” Kirk said Tuesday after receiving the award at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Georgia, where he is playing this week’s RSM Classic. “I’m beyond thankful for my family, especially for Tahnee for staying with me and supporting me through these difficult years. I just am so blessed and thankful to currently live a life better than I could have ever imagined. Just the mental clarity that I wake up with every day is an absolute blessing and a gift.
Full piece.

7. Rory resigns from PGA Tour Policy Board

Adam Woodard for Golfweek…”Rory McIlroy resigned from his position on the PGA Tour Policy Board on Tuesday ahead of the Tour’s final event of 2023, the PGA Tour has confirmed to Golfweek. The news was first reported by the New York Times.”

  • “McIlroy, 34, has been the Tour’s most vocal advocate in the two years since Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and LIV Golf joined the scene and has also spent considerable time in leadership positions with the Tour. The four-time major champion was a member of the Player Advisory Council from 2019-21 and served as the PAC Chairman in 2021. For the last two years, he has been a Player Director on the Policy Board.”
Full Piece.

8. Justin Thomas and Carlos Sainz win Netflix Cup

Reuters report…”Pro golfer Justin Thomas and Formula One driver Carlos Sainz were the first winners in the Netflix Cup, which had quite a bit going on in this first-of-a-kind event Tuesday at Wynn Golf Club in Las Vegas.”

  • “The duo hoisted the Cup together in the postmatch ceremony, with Thomas then drinking from the Cup. Then Sainz had his turn, and he dropped the trophy, which broke.”
  • “Thomas and Sainz defeated the tandem of Tony Finau and Pierre Gasly in the closest-to-pin contest on the final hole after the four-team field was cut in half following eight holes of match play.”
Full Piece.

9. Photos from the RSM Classic

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s event.
Full Piece.
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Morning 9: Charlie Woods to try tee it up on PGA Tour | Niemann’s Masters invite | Price rips LIV

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Thursday morning, golf fans, as the day one of the Mexico Open gets underway.

1. Charlie Woods to compete in Cognizant (formerly Honda) Classic pre-qualifier

PGATour.com staff report…”Charlie Woods is looking to earn a spot in his hometown PGA TOUR event.”

  • “Woods, son of 82-time TOUR winner Tiger Woods, will compete in Thursday’s pre-qualifier for the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches. The younger Woods will play at Lost Lake Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, one of four pre-qualifying sites. Approximately 25 players and ties will advance to the event’s Monday qualifier, from which four players will earn spots in the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches.”
  • “Woods will tee off at 7:39 a.m. ET Thursday alongside Olin Browne Jr., and Ruaidhri Mcgee. Browne is the son of three-time TOUR winner Olin Browne.”
Full piece.

2. Niemann, 2 other earn Masters special invites

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Joaquin Niemann is among three players who have accepted a special invitation to play in the Masters.”

  • “Ranked 81st in the Official World Golf Ranking, Niemann’s appearance this year was in doubt after defecting in summer 2022 to LIV Golf, which doesn’t currently award world-ranking points. But Niemann, a former winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship, which is run by Augusta National, remains arguably the best player from the region and recently won the Australian Open (earning a spot in this year’s Open Championship) and LIV’s season-opening event in Mexico. He posted two other top-5s on the DP World Tour…”
  • “Others receiving a special exemption to the year’s first major were Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Ryo Hisatsune of Japan.”
Full piece.

3. LIV-OWGR stalemate

Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski…”One can make an argument that the OWGR board of directors has an obligation to devise a mathematical formula that awards points for LIV Golf’s 54-hole format as it does for other minor tours. One can also make a counter argument that LIV’s largely closed-shop roster, small fields and concurrent team competition skew its results to a degree that compels the OWGR to deny certification.”

  • “With officials from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour recusing themselves from the decision, the remaining members of the OWGR board denied LIV Golf’s request for inclusion in October. Those remaining members are the representatives of the four major championships.”
  • “Presumably this will all be corrected whenever the PGA Tour finalizes its negotiations with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the financial muscle behind LIV Golf. Until that happens, however, we’ll continue to monitor the degrees of consternation or schadenfreude certain factions exhibit as they observe LIV golfers slipping down the board and, thus, losing access to the majors via top-50 standing.”
Full piece.

4. Ferguson: Gap between majors and “other tournaments” grows

The AP’s Doug Ferguson…”All of which leads to the common refrain that all anyone wants is for the best players in golf to be on the same stage.”

  • “The only place for that is the majors, which always mattered more than all the other tournaments. Now the gap is getting larger.”
  • “The PGA Tour already has held three of its “signature events” with a $20 million purse, cold plunges and wild-caught seafood served in player dining. Nothing felt extraordinary about them. LIV Golf had a 59 and a playoff in the dark the first week, and a six-way tie for the lead late on the back nine the second week. The only noise sounded forced.”
Full piece.

5. Fitzpatrick’s interesting, under-the-radar gear changes

Our Andrew Tursky…”At the end of 2023, Matt Fitzpatrick was still using Ping S55 irons, which were first released to the public back in 2013.”

  • “I was starting to wonder if he’d ever change them out.”
  • “Well, last week at the 2024 Genesis Invitational, we noticed that Fitz is now using a set of new Ping Blueprint S irons (5-PW), to go along with a Ping i210 4-iron.”
  • “Pour one out for the S55’s.”
  • “That wasn’t the only noteworthy gear news in Fitzpatrick’s bag, though. We also noticed he had a unique prototype 3-wood in the bag, which appears to have no branding or identifying logos.”
  • “After further review, however, the sole weight designs and placement seemingly verify that he’s using a Cobra Darkspeed X prototype.”
Full piece.

6. Nadal wins mid-am event

Our Matt Vincenzi…”Twenty-two-time champion Rafael Nadal is known for being one of the best ever tennis players, but recently Nadal also became a champion on the golf course.”

  • “While Balearic Mid-Amateur Golf Championship, Nadal not only won the event, but was able to win by a comfortable seven strokes.”
  • “Next, Nadal will focus on training for the Indian Wells tournament after missing some time from tennis due to injury.”
Full Piece.

7. Price hits out at LIV

John Turnbull for Bunkered…”Open champion Nick Price has hit out at former rival Greg Norman’s startup circuit.”

  • “The 67-year-old, who also won the PGA Championship twice, has argued LIV Golf isn’t a very good product, while taking aim at players who defected.”
  • “Speaking on the bunkered podcast, Price admitted that ‘nobody likes’ the fragmented nature of golf as a result of LIV’s emergence.”
  • “Like everyone else, I don’t know what the end game is. The way the game is fragmented, nobody likes it,” he said.
  • “I’ve tried to watch LIV, but I don’t think the product they have is very good. I don’t know why they tried to re-invent the wheel.
  • “I think the IPL [Indian Premier League] in cricket had a lot to do with the decision making and the way they tried to set it up with the franchises – which I don’t think is a bad idea.
  • “But right now, I don’t think the product they’ve got is something people will rush to their TV to watch and it’s sad because they have so many great players.”
Full Piece.

8. Jin Young Ko’s return to action

Beth Ann Nichols for Golfweek…”Former World No. 1 Jin Young Ko returns to competition at the Honda LPGA Thailand. The last time the South Korean star teed it up on the LPGA at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, she was wearing a brace on her left knee. Ko eventually withdrew from the event prior to the third round.”

  • “Ko insists that’s now behind her and said doctors checked her entire body – knees, shoulders, wrists, spine – and reported that she’s healthy for 2024. She flew to Vietnam during the extended offseason to train with her coach and feels confident going into her 10th season as a professional, including time spent on the KLPGA.”
Full Piece.
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Morning 9: LIV Pros head to Asian Tour | Cabrera returns to PGA Champions Tour | Solheim Cup assistants

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans, as the PGA Tour heads to Mexico this week.

1. Niemann, 21 LIV players set for Asian Tour event

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”In total, 21 LIV members are teeing it up beginning Thursday at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat, Oman, including three still ranked in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking – No. 80 Lucas Herbert, No. 81 Joaquin Niemann and No. 95 Dean Burmester.”

  • “With LIV still not able to award world-ranking points, playing in the International Series remains one of few avenues for LIV players to boost their world ranks and potentially earn spots in major championships…”
  • “No. 137 Louis Oosthuizen, No. 141 David Puig (last week’s Asian Tour winner), No. 154 Mito Pereira and No. 165 Abraham Ancer are also entered in the Oman field, which also includes these LIV members all ranked outside the top 300 in the OWGR: Charles Schwartzel, Kieran Vincent, Jinichiro Kozuma, Matt Jones, Eugenio Chacarra, Scott Vincent, Anirban Lahiri, Matthew Wolff, Branden Grace, Carlos Ortiz, Sebastian Munoz, Peter Uihlein, Hudson Swafford and Danny Lee.”
Full piece.

2. Cabrera returns to Champions Tour action

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romain…”Angel Cabrera has already been cleared to play in PGA Tour-sanctioned events. He returned to competitive golf late last year in his native Argentina, and he will make his PGA Tour Champions return this week in Morocco.”

  • “But that’s not all: The 54-year-old Argentine and two-time major champion also is set to compete again in his first world-ranked event in nearly five years.”
  • “Cabrera, who was released from an Argentina prison last August after serving 30 months for gender violence against two former partners, has been extended a sponsor exemption into the Korn Ferry Tour’s 117 Visa Argentina Open, according to multiple reports and confirmed by GolfChannel.com. Cabrera’s invite was allotted by the Argentina Golf Association, and he will have a chance to compete for an Open Championship exemption, which is awarded to the winner.”
Full piece.

3. Beall: Is the PGA Tour in a slump?

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall…”Conversely, the bigger, overarching worry from the past seven weeks is what fans didn’t see. Rory McIlroy was a tour de force in the Middle East but has been so-so in his two tour starts. Reigning FedEx Cup champion Viktor Hovland has struggled. Max Homa usually feasts on the West Coast but hasn’t posted a top 10 in five appearances. Collin Morikawa hasn’t done much and an expected Sunday battle between Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay at Riv turned out to be a dud. Then there is Scottie Scheffler. The two-time PGA Tour Player of the Year is posting the best ball-striking numbers since in-his-prime Tiger … but that performance has been weighed down by his continued putting woes, which have prolonged to the point they can no longer be classified as a funk. Scheffler knows it too; this weekend alone featured images of Scheffler tossing his putter like a baton after missing a putt and dropping to his knees after another, the normally stoic Texan unable to hide his indignation at his flatstick’s betrayal. The putter has single-handedly kept him from a generationally-great 18-month stretch, and as golf has sadistically proved over and over the present (in this case, Scheffler’s tee-to-green game) is no guarantee of the future.|”

  • “Seven weeks is a small sample size. In that same breath, the tour is nearing the quarter mark of the season, and the very stars tasked with keeping the lights on have been dimmed. Which brings us to LIV Golf. For the first two years of LIV’s existence there has been a general belief from tour headquarters that the tour’s depth was its hydra: When one star leaves he would be replaced by another. Generally, that held true. But Jon Rahm’s defection seemed to be a tipping point of sorts. LIV has now taken both a significant portion of the tour’s frontline firepower (Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Cam Smith) along with a sizable bite out of the second and third-tier rank. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that five of the tour’s seven winners in 2024 were outside the top 50 in world ranking … but maybe it’s not. That Rahm won three times during this stretch last season only exaggerates the perceived power void.”
Full piece.

4. Nantz to amateur rules sleuths…

Golf Digest’s Christopher Powers…“A number of rogue videos of the supposed incident have already been removed from social media. But they had been spreading like wildfire, as all potential rules controversies do. The CBS Sports crew must have known this was the case, because Jim Nantz quickly brought in rules and review analyst Mark Dusbabek explained that there was no foul play from Matsuyama.”

  • “Here was the incredible exchange between Nantz and Dusbabek:”
  • “Nantz: They’re playing a game of ‘gotcha,’ they think, with Matsuyama behind the 17th a moment ago and saying ‘hey that ball moved! This isn’t right!’ Let’s bring in, with some reasoning here, Duse (Dusbabek).”
  • “Dusbabek: Yes Jim, the ball did not move. The ball just shifted a little bit, but it stayed in its same position. The ball has to move to a different position, up, down, to the side, it doesn’t matter. It just didn’t move its position.”
  • “Nantz: Go find somebody else to pick on.”
Full piece.

5. Cannizzaro: Woods should have been at Genesis trophy presentation

The NY Post’s long-time golf writer…Speaking of the champion, Matsuyama and the thousands of spectators ringing the natural amphitheater of the 18th green were deprived Sunday of seeing Woods, whose foundation hosts the event, present the winner’s trophy.

  • Tiger Woods’ withdrawal from own event is golf great’s latest bizarre episode. Woods was nowhere to be found, presumably back home in Florida recuperating from the flu.
  • “I never question an athlete’s injury or illness because only the person who’s injured or ill knows how bad he or she is feeling. But for Woods, two days removed from the flu diagnosis, not to be at Riviera on Sunday to present the trophy wasn’t a great look. The sponsors who pump millions into the event to benefit Woods’ foundation could not have been happy about his absence.”
  • “I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to take a picture with Tiger today,’’ Matsuyama said after he won.
  • “It’s difficult to imagine Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer not powering through the flu to make sure they were on hand to present the trophy to the winner of the Memorial or Arnold Palmer Invitational at the end of the tournament.”
Full piece.

6. Finau feeling ready

Field Level Media report…”Finau, 34, hasn’t missed a cut in five starts this season. He finished T6 at the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 24-27 and T19 at the Genesis Invitational last week…”

  • “Yeah, I feel prepared. I’ve done some good work in the offseason with my body just to be strong,” Finau said Tuesday. “This golf course yields some birdies and I can really swing the driver with some freedom out here as there’s a few holes that are pretty lenient as far as hitting areas, so I love that, being able to hit it hard and play this type of golf course. I do feel like I’m prime to go on a run starting this week.”
  • “Finau expects to be a busy man, however. He told reporters Tuesday that he will be playing competitive golf during the day and with his family on the par-3 course at night.”
  • “I think we reserved a tee time there about 8:00 every night and we’ll be there with my boys playing pretty much every evening,” Finau said. “That’s definitely at the top of our list of things we enjoy here at Vidanta.”
Full Piece.

7. 2024 U.S. Solheim Cup assistants revealed

Beth Ann Nichols for Golfweek…”Paula Creamer returns to the Solheim Cup for the first time in seven years in a new role as assistant captain. She’ll be joined by Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Angela Stanford. It’s up to the host captain to determine the number of assistant captains, and for the first time in Solheim history, Stacy Lewis has appointed four women to the job.

  • “This year’s Solheim Cup will be contested Sept. 13-15 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia.”
Full Piece.

8. LIV Golf chief to play PGA Tour pro-am

Ben Parsons for Bunkered…”LIV Golf chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan will tee it up in a pro-am at a tournament sanctioned by the PGA Tour as negotiations to unify golf continue.

  • “Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) bankrolling LIV, has been attempting to broker a deal with the PGA Tour ever since the announcement of a shock framework agreement between the warring factions last June.”
  • “PIF’s involvement in golf’s new landscape has come into question in recent weeks after a group of US billionaires known as the Strategic Sports Group (SSG) invested $3billion into the PGA Tour’s new for-profit company named PGA Tour Enterprises.”
  • “Al-Rumayyan has been listed to play in the Trophy Hassan II pro-am at Royal Golf Dar es Salam in Morocco alongside Indian veteran Arjun Atwal.”
Full Piece.

9. Inbee has no plans to play in 2024

Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…”As the LPGA returns to action this week in Thailand, one past champion is notably absent. Inbee Park, who last teed it up on the LPGA in August of 2022 at the AIG Women’s British Open, has no plans to compete this year either, according to her manager.”

  • “Park, 35, gave birth to her first child, daughter Inseo, in April 2023.”
  • “The 21-time winner was announced as one of 32 candidates for the IOC’s Athlete’s Commission. Park, of course, won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She plans to focus on promoting herself for the upcoming elections in the coming months.”
Full Piece.
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Tour Photo Galleries

A mysterious prototype 3-wood and 10 interesting gear photos from the Tour

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If you’re a fan of golf equipment, then last week at the 2024 Genesis Invitational must have felt like the Super Bowl.

Aside from Tiger Woods and TaylorMade teaming up to create a new brand called Sun Day Red, GolfWRX.com also got full WITB photo coverage from top players such as Woods, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Wyndham Clark, Viktor Hovland, Sepp Straka, Denny McCarthy and Si Woo Kim among others.

It was a huge week for equipment photos, so let’s waste no time getting to the recap below. If you want to check out all of our photo galleries from the 2024 Genesis Invitational, don’t forget to head over to our GolfWRX Forums.

Now, let’s get to the gear.

Hovi’s flatstick is growing up so fast

Now over four years old, Hovland’s Ping PLD “Hovi” putter is starting to show some signs of aging, which makes it that much cooler, in my opinion. As a reminder, Hovi’s custom PLD putter later became the inspiration for Ping’s DS72 head model, and Ping has even sold limited-edition versions of the “Hovi” putter.

To keep his longtime putter safe and secure, Hovland uses a “Hovi” putter cover, with a Viking graphic on top.

See Hovland’s full 2024 WITB here

Matt Fitzpatrick’s mysterious prototype fairway wood, and new Blueprint S irons

At the end of 2023, Matt Fitzpatrick was still using Ping S55 irons, which were first released to the public back in 2013.

I was starting to wonder if he’d ever change them out.

Well, last week at the 2024 Genesis Invitational, we noticed that Fitz is now using a set of new Ping Blueprint S irons (5-PW), to go along with a Ping i210 4-iron.

Pour one out for the S55’s.

That wasn’t the only noteworthy gear news in Fitzpatrick’s bag, though. We also noticed he had a unique prototype 3-wood in the bag, which appears to have no branding or identifying logos.

After further review, however, the sole weight designs and placement seemingly verify that he’s using a Cobra Darkspeed X prototype.

Here’s a photo of a retail Cobra Darkspeed X fairway wood for comparison:

What do you think? Is Fitzpatrick’s new proto fairway wood a Cobra Darkspeed? Or something else?

See what GolfWRX members are saying in the forums

Straka stays strong with the Tuttle

We looked at every club in Straka’s bag last week, and he’s using a set of TaylorMade Qi10 metalwoods, to go along with Srixon irons and Cleveland wedges.

He’s also still going strong with his longtime Odyssey Stroke Lab Tuttle design, which has 3 lines on its bubbly crown for better alignment. With all of the modern-day mallet options on the market, it’s cool to see that Straka is sticking with what works.

Sepp Straka’s full 2024 WITB

Tiger still loves his M3

On Wednesday before the event, Woods confirmed that he’d be switching into a new TaylorMade Qi10 Tour 3-wood, and he also revealed why he still has the old M3 5-wood in play:

“Well, the [new TaylorMade Qi10 Tour] 3-wood is in play. I feel very comfortable with the 3-wood. I had to find the right shaft for it and decided to switch the shafts and go with what I have on my driver. My 5-wood’s different, it’s old, a little beat up, but it still works. But the 3-wood, I wanted to find something I could draw a little bit better and this one is definitely that.”

Read more about Tiger Woods’ clubs from the Genesis Invitational

Rors Proto irons

McIlroy appears to be locked into his WITB setup for 2024, including new TaylorMade Qi10 metalwoods, a mixed set of TaylorMade P-760 and Rors Proto MB irons, MG4 wedges, a Spider Tour X putter, and a new TaylorMade TP5x golf ball.

By all accounts, his Rors Proto irons have to be some of the most famous irons in golf at the moment, and they’ve got the bag chatter to prove they’ve stood the test of time. It’s always a pleasure getting an up-close look at the Rors Protos.

Tommy 2 Drivers

Speaking to the gearheads, if Tommy Fleetwood wasn’t already on your list of top-5 favorite PGA Tour players, then maybe this will help you reconsider: Fleetwood is currently using a TaylorMade Qi10 LS driver (9 degrees), and a TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver (13.5 degrees), and both are equipped with Fujikura Ventus TR 6X shafts.

Tommy Fleetwood’s full 2024 WITB

New shafts spottedAt the 2024 Genesis Invitational, we spotted new Fujikura Ventus Blue shafts, as well as Aretara shafts, which is a new company started by Alex Dee, formerly of Fujikura. Click on the respective links to learn more about each new release.

A special putter for a special exemption

Chase Johnson, one of the recipients of a sponsors exemption at the Genesis Invitational, made the cut using an Odyssey Ai-One Jailbird Mini with white-red-white alignment lines and a knuckle neck construction, to go along with a Cobra Darkspeed Max driver.

Johnson is certifiably equipped with ultra forgiveness, and it helped him make the cut last week.

See Johnson’s full 2024 WITB here

The view for one of golf’s best putters

Denny McCarthy finished first in Strokes Gained: Putting in 2018-2019, first in 2019-2020, and second in 2021-2022, and he still uses this Scotty Cameron Tour-Only GoLo mallet putter currently. This photo shows what he looks down at while he’s making basically every putt he sees.

See McCarthy’s full 2024 WITB here

Are new Toulon putters on the way?

On Tuesday at the 2024 Genesis Invitational, we spotted a slew of new models from Toulon. The putter pictured above, called “Alcatraz,” bears a strong resemblance to Odyssey’s “Jailbird” putters, in both looks and nomenclature.

Is something bigger on the way from Toulon? We’ll keep an eye out for testers and switchers on the PGA Tour next week at the 2024 Cognizant Classic at PGA National.

And, with that, we say goodbye to the 2024 Genesis Invitational, and the 2024 West Coast Swing. We’ll see you next week on the other coast!

Browse all of our photos from the 2024 Genesis Invitational here

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