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Matsuyama on the PGA Tour

Who’s the best player to not have a major championship on his resume? The answer right now is Hidekyi Matsuyama who won his second World Golf Championship event and his third PGA Tour tournament of the year Sunday in Akron at Firestone County Club. His final round 61 tied the course record and was highlighted by a closing run of birdies on the last three holes for a five shot margin over Zach Johnson.

The WGC Bridgestone Invitational win solidifies Matsuyama’s position as the third ranked player in the world and sets up what could be an epic confrontation at this week’s PGA Championship with number one Dustin Johnson and British Open winner Jordan Spieth.

 

Matsuyama

Photo courtesy of Golf Week

is on the Srixon staff and plays their Z-Star XV ball and X945 iron plus uses wedges from Cleveland Golf, a subsidiary of Srixon. His Great Big Bertha driver from Callaway was introduced in August of 2015 and, though a very good driver, was pushed out of the spotlight when the company came out with the EPIC model.

The TaylorMade TP Mullen putter is a compact mallet design with two sightlines on the back cavity and a short “S” hosel for 38° of toe hang. Like the Berwick, another mallet-style in the TP Collection, there are two 5-gram movable weights in the sole for swing weight customization. It sells for $199 or with a Super Stroke 1.0 GT Pistol grip $219. [insert TMag TP Mullen]

Matsuyama’s bag at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Driver: Callaway Great Big Bertha 9° (Graphite Design DI-8TX shaft)

3-wood: TaylorMade 2017 M2 15° (Graphite Design DI-9TX shaft)

Hybrid: Honma TW727 U19 19° (Graphite Design DI-115 Hybrid X shaft)

Irons: 4-iron through pitching wedge Srixon Z945 (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts)

Wedges: 52°, 56° and 60° Cleveland Golf 588 RTX 2.0 Precision Forged (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts)

Putter: TaylorMade TP Mullen

Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV

Stroud Wins in Sudden Death at Barracuda

The Barracuda Championship is played with a Modified Stableford scoring format and Chris Stroud took advantage on Sunday with 20 points which got him into a playoff with Richy Werenski and Greg Owen. Stroud took the victory on the second hole for his first PGA Tour victory.

Matsuyama

Photo courtesy of Golfweek

Stroud’s winning clubs:

Driver: TaylorMade 2017 M2 9.5° (Fujikura Speeder Evolution S shaft)

Fairway woods: 3-wood: TaylorMade RBZ 14.5° (Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana shaft); 5-wood Callaway XR 19° (Mitusbishi Chemical Tensei Blue shaft)

Hybrid: Adams Super 9031 21° (Oban Kiyoshi Hybrid shaft)

Irons: 5-iron Cleveland 588MT (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft); 6- and 7-iron Cleveland 588 Precision Forged MB (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts); 8-iron through pitching wedge Srixon Z Forged (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)

Wedges: Cleveland 588 Custom 51°, 55° and 60° (True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts)

Putter: Odyssey White Ice D.A.R.T.

Ball: Srixon Z-Star

NOTES:

WGC by the numbers: Titleist won the ball count…again. In the 76 man field 48 played their Pro V1 or Pro V1x while 10 players teed up balls from the nearest competing brand. And speaking of competing, TaylorMade drivers were far and away the first choice in Akron with 30. Callaway had 16 in play, Titleist 12 and Ping seven. Meanwhile at the opposite field event Barracuda Championship Titleists were on the tee for 120 players and 15 for the second most played ball.

Should anyone ask: The 76 man field playing the WGC at Firestone was super strong leading into the PGA Championship. Of the top 50 ranked players in the world only Brandt Snedeker (sternum joint arthritis) and Martin Kaymer (left shoulder) were no-shows. The field had 18 players with a total of 30 majors led by Phil Mickelson with five. At the Barracuda Championship the modified Stableford format again received positive reviews for rewarding a go-for-broke mindset. In addition to the Barracuda, the Tour has two other events offering something different than the usual plain vanilla 72-hole medal play, the WGC-Dell Match Play and the two man team format Zurich Classic.

Matsuyama

Photo courtesy of Golf.com

Exotics CBX: Tour Edge Golf doesn’t pay a long list of Tour pros to endorse their products. In fact they have none so the play-for-pay guys really have to believe in a club to put in their bags. That happens fairly often with the Tour Edge fairway woods and hybrids…they are that good. The latest one of their clubs to receive rave reviews is the prototype of the Exotics CBX hybrid which is now being released to the public. It offers a low-spin penetrating trajectory achieved by the use of a carbon sole unit so the center of gravity was moved forward close to the beta titanium face. At retail Sept. 15 for $250, there will be a choice of three lofts (16°, 18° and 20°) and either a Project X HZRDUS Black or a Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Silver Dual-Core Tini shaft. [insert cbxhy_1]

Apex Black: Callaway came out with the limited edition forged Apex Black irons last year which sold out quickly and are reintroducing them as a custom only option. Just as the regular Apex model they have the 360 Face Cup in the long and mid-lofts and in the short irons a face plate for added control. These players irons have a sexy satin black finish and are priced at $1,299 with steel shafts and $1,499 with graphite. [insert apex-iron-black]

Travis Matthew: Callaway Golf is purchasing apparel maker Travis Matthew for $125 million or about 12 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Callaway president and CEO Chip Brewer said in a prepared press release that, “Travis Mathew is a great fit with our business, brands, culture and our strategy to grow in areas tangential to golf.” This purchase follows Callaway’s purchase of apparel and bag maker Ogio in January for $75.5 million, presumably to strengthen their quest for products with higher margins than clubs and balls.

matsuyama

Photo courtesy of eBay

Callaway Sales Up: In a separate statement Callaway said second quarter sales were $59 million higher than in 2016 for a total of $305 million due to, among other things, increase sales of the Epic line of metal woods and improved golf ball sales. Earnings fell versus the same quarter last year from $34 million to $31 million.

Red Out – White In: Part of Jason Day’s arsenal has been the TaylorMade Spider Tour model in a distinctive red color. It has really caught on and became the most played single putter model on Tour. At Quail Hollow however Day putted with a Ghost Spider S in white not red. The Ghost Spider S was first seen in 2012 and is similar to his Spider Tour, both being heel-shafted mallets with a high resistance to twisting from the weight placement.

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