Hideki Matsuyama won the World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions, the first WGC event of the 2016-2017 season with a seven stroke victory over Henrik Stenson and Daniel Berger. Co-sponsored by the European Tour and PGA Tour, this “Asian Major” was played in Shanghai, China at the Sheshan International Golf Club course.
Even with a bogey on the 72nd hole the 24-year old from Japan was the dominant player all week, finishing off a run of top caliber golf starting with a fifth in the Tour Championship at East Lake, a win in the Japan Open and a second last week at the CIMB Classic.
This was Matsyama’s third win of a PGA Tour event, the others being the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open and the 2014 Memorial Tournament.
Fall is when players experiment with club changes and this year is no exception. Nike staffer Rory Mcllroy (T4) put a TaylorMade M2 driver in his bag along with two M2 fairway woods of 15 and 18-degrees loft. Kevin Chappell (T35) and Paul Casey (T12) also Nike players were trying out TaylorMade drivers as well. Mcllroy has for now decided to stay with Nike RZN Tour Platinum ball though Nike no longer is in the club and ball business while Chappell and Casey have both switched to the Titleist Pro V1.
Matsyama who is on the Srixon staff also has switched out several clubs from what he had been playing and winning with.
His driver this week was a 9-degree loft Callaway Great Big Bertha with a Graphite Design Tour AD TP-8 TX shaft and his 3-wood a 15-degree loft TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 shafted with Graphite Design Tour AD TP-9 TX. His win earlier in Phoenix was with a 9.5-degree loft Srixon ZR-30 driver and a 19-degree Honma TW727 fairway wood.
Matsyama’s irons were mixed starting with a TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-iron with a True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT S400 shaft. The 4-iron through pitching wedge were Srixon Z 945s with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts. This iron model has been out for two years and is a traditional muscle-back design with a compact head and thin top line. Forged from 1020 carbon steel they have a Tour V.T. sole design with a small amount extra of leading edge bounce and decreasing bounce on the trailing edge so the profile makes a V-shape.
Matsuyama retained his wedges made by Cleveland Golf, a division of Srixon. He carries three, all the 588 RTX 2.0 model with 52, 56 and 60-degrees loft and True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts.
He departs to another manufacturer again for his putter, a Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Timeless blade and his ball is a Srixon Z-Star XV.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?