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Range Rat – News from the Tour Vans

Article by Tim Cronin of Global Golf Post

On Tuesday at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Paul Casey had a mixture of Honma and Mizuno irons for a practice round, with Honma 3- and 4-irons. He practiced with a Honma clubs last month at Kapalua as well. If Casey, uncontracted since Nike left the equipment business, eventually goes to Honma, he’ll join Justin Rose as the only notable on tour using the Japan-based brand. Ping’s new G410 driver has helped Cameron Champ and Tony Finau move into the top two spots in PGA Tour driving with averages of 320.5 and 318.4 yards respectively, entering the Pebble Beach tournament. Bubba Watson hit it 326 yards on average at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, his first week using the G410.

Branden Grace used Callaway’s new Epic Flash Sub Zero driver (9 degrees) and 3-woods (15 degrees) on the way to finishing second in Phoenix. It was his second week playing the driver and Callaway’s Apex Pro 19 irons, and his first playing the 3-wood. …Patrick Reed’s mixed bag now includes a 56-degree Titleist Vokey SM5 sand wedge to go with a 61-degree Vokey, a 51-degree Artisal prototype and a Callaway RAZR Muscle Back pitching wedge. He’s still using a Ping G400 LST driver and a 2013 model Titleist Pro V1.

Jordan Spieth Titleist’s TS3 driver to his bag at Pebble Beach after extensive testing during the recent Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. “Jordan preferred the new Titleist TS3 driver for its shape, and we fit him into a 10.5 degree (club) with his gamer shaft,” Titleist tour rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck said, adding technicians also adjusted the hosel. “He immediately saw improved ball speeds and higher launch than his previous (9.5 degrees) gamer.” Spieth was seventh in driving distance for the first three rounds last week.

Titleist’s ball-use percentage at Pebble Beach was 74 percent, with 25 players using the 2019 edition of the Pro V1x, and the brand also led in wedges (48 percent), hybrids (33 percent), drivers (for the sixth week in a row) and irons (27 percent each). …Through Pebble Beach, Titleist had 76 percent of the balls used on the PGA Tour in the 2018-19 season, and 72 percent of ball use worldwide. Nobody else had more than 10 percent in either category.

Robert Allenby has added Callaway’s Epic Flash driver and fairway wood to his lineup, as well as the company’s Apex Pro 19 irons. He also has moved to the Callaway Chrome Soft X ball. … In contrast, Peter Lonard switched to the Epic Flash Sub Zero, and with a Srixon Z 785 shaft in the driver. Lonard also added a trio of Callaway Mack Daddy wedges.

As usual, Titleist won the ball count on the European Tour, with 126 of 156 players at the ISPS Handa Vic Open teeing up either a Pro V1 or Pro V1x, and from four different model years. David Drysdale was still playing the 2015 Pro V1x, while two (Filippo Bergamaschi and Peter Senior) used the 2013 Pro V1. Senior employed a TaylorMade M2 driver, a TaylorMade AeroBurner fairway wood, and an Adams Idea A7 hybrid. … James Nitties was rolling a 2019 Pro V1x in scoring a European Tour record-tying nine consecutive birdies in the first round.

Article republished with permission from Global Golf Post