Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Chris Kirk at The Deutsche Bank Championship - Great Golf Deals.com Blog

NORTON — Fed up with his game and the way he was playing — not only at TPC Boston, but for the past month — Chris Kirk reached his tipping point on Friday, after opening the Deutsche Bank Championship with a sloppy 73.

Instead of doing what would be expected of a PGA Tour player struggling with his swing, Kirk shunned a trip to the range and did the unexpected. He headed to the Kids Zone at TPC Boston on Friday afternoon with his 2-year-old son and played a little putt-putt.

Three days later, it was hard to say what role, if any, that youthful detour played in Kirk’s unlikely tournament turnaround, which ended with him raising the Deutsche Bank Championship trophy Monday. But this much we know: Kirk putted lights-out the final three rounds, when there wasn’t a windmill or clown’s mouth to be found.

The less-heralded player in the next-to-last twosome by a mile — he was paired with Rory McIlroy for the second straight day — Kirk took it to the top-ranked player in the world, and everybody else. He played his last 37 holes without a bogey, and grabbed his third career win on the PGA Tour. It paid him $1.4 million from an $8 million purse, vaulted him from 17th to first in the FedEx Cup points race, and just might land Kirk on the US Ryder Cup team. Two wins this season is bound to get the attention of Tom Watson, the US captain who announces his three selections Tuesday.

“I’m still just in such shock that I actually won this tournament,” said Kirk, a 29-year-old from Atlanta. “This is definitely the biggest win of my career against the strongest field under the biggest spotlight. So I’m very proud of that and I’m very excited that I was able to accomplish this.”

It wasn’t easy, and came down to one of the last full swings of the tournament, made by someone else. Kirk did his part, shooting a bogey-free 66 Monday, which gave him a 66-64-66 bounceback after his first round, which now becomes the highest opening round by a winner in DBC history.

But a missed birdie putt at the 18th hole left Kirk at 15 under par, opening the door for Billy Horschel, who stood in the middle of the 18th fairway, trailing the leader by one shot. Holding a 6-iron for his second shot to the closing par-5, Horschel was a birdie away from forcing a playoff. An eagle would have given him a one-shot win.

Instead, Horschel dumped his approach into the hazard fronting the green, and when his fourth shot settled long and right of the hole, Kirk was the champion.

He got there by playing flawless golf over two days with McIlroy (think Watson will take that into account when making his Ryder Cup captain’s selections?): Kirk made 24 pars and 12 birdies while paired with McIlroy the final two rounds. The struggles that recently had frustrated Kirk — he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, and sandwiched a T41 at the Bridgestone and T53 at Barclays around it — seemed to float away when McIlroy appeared.

Kirk was still in chase mode Monday. Starting the final round two shots behind Russell Henley (the two both played at the University of Georgia, but didn’t overlap), Kirk caught up with a birdie at No. 9, when he rolled in an 11-foot putt.

That turned out to be a sign of things to come. Almost every tournament includes a handful of clutch putts made by the winner. Kirk made three of note on the back nine: A 23-footer for birdie at No. 13 to put him in the lead, a 15-footer at the 15th to save par and maintain his one-shot lead, and a 13-footer for birdie at No. 16, which temporarily gave Kirk a two-shot lead.

“I think looking back on it my par save on 15 will probably be the biggest one,” Kirk said. “My birdie putt on 13 definitely kind of got me going, but to pour that one right in the middle [on 15] kept my momentum going, for sure.”

Horschel answered with a birdie at No. 15 to climb within one, but couldn’t pull off the shot when he needed it most. The closing bogey capped a 69, and left Horschel tied for second at 13 under, with Henley (70) and Geoff Ogilvy, who was trying to pull off the improbable. Ogilvy, who missed the cut at the Barclays, assumed he would fall out of the top 100 on the points list, which would have made him ineligible for the DBC. Instead, he was the last man in, then put together a 65-65 finish to almost walk away with the victory.

“I had a really good last 27 holes. I was packing my bags 27 holes ago, now I’m on my way to Denver [and the third playoff event, reserved for the top 70],” said Ogilvy, who played his last 27 holes bogey-free, and 12 under par. “I missed the cut last week and I thought I was completely gone. I didn’t even think I was going to get here. I got a start here, played great on the weekend, and now I’m good to go next week.”

So is Kirk, who is guaranteed to make it to the season-ending Tour Championship, played in his Atlanta hometown. He might be asked to play some more golf after that, if Watson ends up adding Kirk to the Ryder Cup team.

On Friday, with Kirk stewing over that 73, mentioning the Ryder Cup to him likely would have been met with a snicker or sneer. But neither Kirk, nor anyone else, knew what was coming.

“I told my caddie [on Friday], ‘This isn’t any fun. I don’t feel like going to hit balls. I’ll see you tomorrow,’” Kirk said. “Shows you how ridiculous this game is. To come out and play three rounds, 66-64-66, to win, is beyond belief.”

What's In Chris' Bag?

Driver: Callaway Big Bertha V-Series (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ Series 62X

3 Wood: Callaway X2 Hot Pro (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana ‘ahina 80X

Hybrid: Ping Anser (17 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ Series 92HY

Irons: Callaway RAZR X Muscleback (3-9 iron)
Shafts: KBS Tour (X-Flex)

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (47-11S, 54-14S, 58-10S)

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1X 

Mizuno Sends Shockwaves Throughout The Industry With Their New 2015 Woods.

Move over TaylorMade and Callaway, there's a new golf club innovator in town. 

The new Mizuno JPX-850 fairway woods and hybrids utilize a new "Shock Wave" sole that is designed to contract and expand on impact and transfers energy back into the ball which will produce a longer and more consistent shot.

Mizuno's research showed that most golf shots off of fairway woods and hybrids are hit lower on the face so they designed these woods with the COR and center of gravity (CG) lower on the face for less twisting at impact which produces a more penetrating ball flight.

The accordion-like Shock Wave sole help create extra speed by rebounding energy into the ball caused by the contracting and expanding clubhead.   

In addition to the shock wave sole, Mizuno has added a "waffle" crown which has variable thickness throughout the crown to maintain power and rigidity while at the same time reduces weight so it could be placed lower in the Shock Wave sole. 

Mizuno JPX850 Fairway Wood

Mizuno say the JPX850 fairway is a classic looking fairway at address with a generous footprint to inspire confidence. The design creates a low penetrating flight and allows players a high level of workability.
The JPX850 fairways also feature Mizuno's Quick Switch adjustable hosel system giving four loft options for each of the 3, 5 and 7 wood heads in the range.
Mizuno JPX850 Hybrid

The JPX850 hybrid also features the Shock Wave sole and provides a profile at address that features the neutral lines favoured by Mizuno's Tour players but unlike the fairway wood the hosel on the hybrid is not adjustable.

Retail prices for the fairway woods are $249.99 and $199.99 for the hybrids and they are scheduled for release in early November.  

This is by far the most exciting product that Mizuno has come out with in years and it's nice to see them come out with new, innovative products that should shake up the industry.  Do yourself a favor and check these out while you consider your 2015 bag makeup. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Hunter Mahan at The 2014 Barclays - Great Golf Deals.com Blog

Hunter Mahan displayed a lot more skill at winning the tournament than he did at handling the trophy!

After winning The Barclays golf tournament by two strokes, Hunter Mahan posed for several photos with officials, volunteers, his wife and daughter and many others. Before leaving the 18th green for the victorious press conference, he posed for one last photo with David Finn of Ramsey.

As he knelt next to the 21-year-old Finn, who has muscular dystrophy, Mahan set the trophy down hard on the ground and broke it in two pieces. As Finn laughed, Mahan said sheepishly, "David did it!"

A few minutes earlier, Mahan's one-year-old daughter Zoe nearly pushed over the trophy after it was presented to her father.

In the media tent, when he was asked what happened to the trophy, Mahan smirked.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said.

What's In Hunter's Bag?

Driver: Ping G25 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 70X
Length: 45.25 inches (tipped 1 inch)
Swing Weight: D4

3 Wood: Titleist 913 F.d (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder 757 X

Hybrid: Ping i25 (17 degrees with 18 degrees of actual loft)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana White Board 90X
Length: 40.75 inches
Swing Weight: D3

Irons: Ping S55 (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue
Swing Weight: D2

Wedges: Ping i25 (54 and 59 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100
Swing Weight: D4 (54), D5 (60)

Putter: Ping Scottsdale TR Anser 2
Length: 34 inches (2-degrees flat)
Loft: 3 degrees

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Camillo Villegas at The 2014 Wyndham Championship - Great Golf Deals.com Blog

Greensboro North Carolina:  Camilo Villegas won the Wyndham Championship by a single stoke on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory since 2010.

Villegas shot a 7-under 63 and finished at 17-under 263. He earned $954,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points in the final regular-season event.

The Colombian had four birdies and an eagle on the front nine, added a birdie on the par-5 15th and took the lead into the clubhouse. He then watched the rest of the field stumble late, giving him his fourth PGA Tour title and first since the 2010 Honda Classic.

Bill Haas and Freddie Jacobson tied for second. Haas had a 64, and Jacobson shot 66.

Jacobson needed a par on the final hole to force a playoff, but he rolled his 11-foot putt inches past the hole.

What's In Camillo's Bag?

Driver: TaylorMade JetSpeed (13 degrees, HL)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik TP7 X-Flex

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade SLDR (3HL, 17 degrees/5HL, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Matrix Ozik Code-8

Hybrid: TaylorMade SLDR (5 hybrid)
Shaft: True Temper Project X HB6

Irons: TaylorMade Tour Preferred CB (5-9)
Shafts: Royal Precision Rifle FCM 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Tour Preferred ATV Grind (48, 52, 58 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: Royal Precisoin Rifle FCM 6.5

Putter Scotty Cameron SB+ Tour Only

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Rory McIlroy at The 2014 PGA Championship - Great Golf Deals.com Blog

Louisville Ky:  In a fantastic finish in the final major of the year, the favorite and number one golfer in the world pulled out a win in what was one of the most exciting final rounds of golf ever seen.


The PGA Championship made up for a major championship season devoid of drama with one waterlogged and wonderful Sunday.

That it ended with McIlroy making history, and rushing to beat darkness after a rain delay of 1 hour, 51 minutes, made it all the more memorable. Not that his shotmaking didn’t already do so.

Posting his third straight victory overall, McIlroy became the first since Padraig Harrington in 2008 to win consecutive major championships. And, at 25, McIlroy became the third-youngest to win his fourth major overall behind the terrific twosome of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

McIlroy shot a 68 to finish 16-under overall, one stroke better than runner-up Phil Mickelson and two better than Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson.

The afternoon tee times got pushed back after a downpour soaked Valhalla with an inch of rain in less than an hour and workers scrambled to clear the course of casual water.

This delay created an almost unprecedented scene on the 72nd hole. McIlroy and Bernd Wiesberger got permission from officials to hit their tee and second shots on the par-5 18th as the next-to-last group of Mickelson and Fowler walked to their shots so that the round could be completed.

This almost-staggered foursome gave McIlroy a bird’s eye view of Mickelson almost chipping in for eagle. McIlroy then two-putted for par in near-darkness after blasting out of a bunker to win.

What's In Rory's Bag?

DriverNike Covert Tour 2.0 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 70TX

3 Wood: Nike VR_S Covert 2.0 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Rombax Pro 95 (X-Flex)

5 Wood: Nike VR_S Covert  (19 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Rombax Pro 95 (X-Flex)

IronsNike VR Pro Blades (4-9)
Shafts: Royal Precision Project X 7.0

WedgesNike VR Forged (46, 52,56 and 59)
Shafts: Royal Precision Project X 7.0

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Rory McIlroy at The 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational - Great Golf Deals.com Blog

Rory McIlroy beat his Ryder Cup team-mate to claim his first World Golf Championship event on Sunday - and with it reclaimed top spot in the world rankings.

McIlroy turned a three-shot deficit into a two-shot lead within the space of five holes in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, before Garcia battled back to leave the pair tied heading into the back nine at Firestone Country Club.

Garcia had played the same back nine in just 27 shots in his second round of 61, but it was McIlroy who came out on top two days later in a tense duel, the 25-year-old carding a closing 66 to finish 15 under par.

With Adam Scott finishing outside the top five, that meant McIlroy reclaimed the world number one spot he last held in March 2013, just in time for the final major of the year, next week's US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

After 16 birdies in the first three rounds Garcia could only manage one in a disappointing closing 71 to finish 13 under, meaning the 34-year-old has now won just three times after holding the 54-hole lead on 16 occasions.

"What I am really proud of this week is following on from the Open with a performance like this," McIlroy, only the second European winner of the title after Darren Clarke in 2003, told CBS. "I said straight after I did not want any let down, I wanted to keep going and performing until the end of the season.

"It's great to come to one of my favourite tournaments of the year and to perform like this I am pretty satisfied."

McIlroy pulled his opening drive into the rough but had a gap through the trees and hit a superb low pitch to three feet, while Garcia had to settle for a par by two-putting from long range.

Three-time major winner McIlroy then two-putted from long range on the par-five second for another birdie and also birdied the third to take over the lead as Garcia bogeyed, but that did not tell half the story of an amazing hole.

Garcia's errant drive into the crowd somehow knocked the diamond out of a female spectator's engagement ring and after giving her a signed ball, the Spaniard asked for her contact information after hitting his second shot over the green.

Thankfully, the precious stone was quickly recovered but Garcia was unable to get up and down to save par and McIlroy holed from eight feet for a third straight birdie.

When McIlroy also birdied the fifth from five feet it meant a five-shot swing had taken place in the space of five holes and gave the world number two a two-shot lead.

Garcia desperately needed something to go in his favour and it happened on the eighth, McIlroy driving into the rough and finding a greenside bunker with his approach, from where he failed to get up and down.

Garcia then got back on level terms with a birdie from 15 feet on the ninth, McIlroy missing from just six feet.

That meant the pair went into the back nine tied on 14 under par but it was McIlroy who edged back in front with a birdie on the 11th from eight feet, Garcia then missing from a few inches closer.

The decisive moment then came on the par-three 15th, where Garcia's tee-shot left of the green left him with a near-impossible pitch over a bunker and led to a bogey four.

That gave McIlroy a two-shot lead with three to play and when Garcia failed to convert a birdie chance from 10 feet on the 17th his chance had gone.

Low scoring had been the order of the day on the rain-softened course, five-time major winner Phil Mickelson charging through the field with an eight-under-par 62 which featured 10 birdies and two bogeys.

"I don't know what to say, it kind of came out of nowhere," Mickelson said after finishing five under for the tournament. "The first two rounds really threw me for a loop. I have been struggling getting my short irons close and today they were right on.

"I made a lot of birdies and it was nice. Today was a big day to give me a lot of confidence and momentum heading into the US PGA next week."

What's In Rory's Bag?

DriverNike Covert Tour 2.0 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 70TX

3 Wood: Nike VR_S Covert 2.0 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Rombax Pro 95 (X-Flex)

5 Wood: Nike VR_S Covert  (19 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Rombax Pro 95 (X-Flex)

IronsNike VR Pro Blades (4-9)
Shafts: Royal Precision Project X 7.0

WedgesNike VR Forged (46, 52,56 and 59)
Shafts: Royal Precision Project X 7.0

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Tim Clark at The 2014 RBC Canadian Open - Great Golf Deals.com Blog

MONTREAL — Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk.

Clark closed with a 5-under 65 at rainy Royal Montreal for his second PGA Tour victory. The 38-year-old South African player also won the 2010 Players Championship.

Furyk, the two-time Canadian Open champion who took a three-stroke lead into the final round, finished with a 69. The 44-year-old American matched Clark with a birdie on the par-3 17th and a par on the par-4 18th.

"It looked like Jim wasn't going to make any mistakes," said Clark, who moved into contention Saturday with a 64. "He was pretty solid, so I knew I had to make birdies. At that point, there was nothing to lose. Suddenly I got hot and I went with it."

Furyk is 0 for 7 with the 54-hole lead since winning the 2010 Tour Championship for the last of his 16 PGA Tour titles

"I kind of controlled my own destiny," Furyk said. "I've got to shoot 3 or 4 under and it would have been impossible to catch me, or darn near it. I left the door open with even par on the front nine and Tim took advantage and shot 30 on the back."

On No. 18, Clark left a 45-foot birdie putt about 6 feet short, and Furyk missed left on a 12-footer. Clark sealed the win by holing the 6-footer for par.

"Once he missed his putt, I didn't want to have to go into a playoff, knowing he can take it over the water (off the 18th tee) and I have to play over to the right,' Clark said. "So, it was huge for me to get it finished right there. I got hot with the putter on the back nine. To stand over that putt and still feel confident was really nice."

Clark, four strokes behind Furyk after bogeying the par-4 first, took the outright lead with a birdie on the par-4 16th after a short rain delay. Clark finished at 17-under 263 to tie tournament record for total score set by Johnny Palmer in 1952 at St. Charles in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and matched by Scott Piercy in 2012 at Hamilton in Ancaster, Ontario.

Clark's wife, Candice, is from Toronto and has family in Montreal. He won his first pro title at the New Brunswick Open on the Canadian Tour in 1998 and followed a week later with a win at the CPGA Championship.

"The irony of it is Canada could be the location of my first win and my last one," Clark said. "To come back here, it's full circle. That was 16 years ago when I was just cutting my teeth as a professional golfer and I was fortunate enough to be given some starts up here, so I have fond memories.

"It's certainly one I've wanted to win for a long time. Any national championship to me is special. particularly to the people from that country. It's an honor for me to be the open champion."

Justin Hicks was third at 13 under after a 64. Matt Kuchar (65), Michael Putnam (66) and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (66) tied for fourth at 11 under.

Graham DeLaet, from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, was the top Canadian, closing with a 68 to tie for seventh at 10 under. Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner, taking the 1954 event at Point Grey in Vancouver.

"I fell a little short, but it was fun," DeLaet said. "So many people were cheering for me. ... Coming down 18 was a special moment.

Dicky Pride also finished at 10 under, matching the course record with a 63.

Organizers moved up the starting times by two hours and had the players went out in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees to try to finish before the forecast storms. Most of the players had finished before a cloudburst halted play for 26 minutes.

What's In Tim's Bag?

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Accra M4-55 Tour Proto

3 Wood: Titleist 913F (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 7.2 Tour Spec

5 Wood: Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead Plus (18 Degrees)
Shaft: Callaway RCH 36 Pro Series Strong Flex

Hybrid: TaylorMade Rescue Dual (19 degrees)
Shaft: UST iRod Tour Hybrid Utility 100 CB (X-Flex)

IronsTitleist CB (4-9)
Shafts: Aerotech SteelFiber 95i (stiff flex)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (48-06, 56-14), Titleist Vokey Design SM5 M Grind (60-08)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Odyssey 2-Ball Long