2016 THE PLAYERS Championship
It’s THE PLAYERS Championship week as golf returns to Florida for the unofficial 5th Major. Heading into the weekend, TaylorMade’s top staffers are all positioned to make some noise at the Stadium Course. World No. 1 Jason Day is always a threat to win wherever he tees it up, highlighted this week by a record-tying 63 during Thursday's round.
Justin Rose is coming off a near victory at the Wells Fargo and looks more dialed-in than ever. Sergio proves to have TPC Sawgrass’ number as he historically plays well at this venue, including a win in 2008. And DJ has finished his last 3 events at T5 or better and looks hungry for his first victory of 2016.
Justin Rose on the range Tuesday
Jason Day has two new staple clubs in his bag. After lots of testing and tweaking, Jason Day has a 16.5° M2 fairway fully dialed in. The lower CG of the M2 fairway is resulting in less spin off the tee, which has Jason carrying it 285 to a total of 295-300 yards. Off the deck he’s still carrying it closer to 265 (275 yards total), which better aligns with his traditional 3-wood gapping. Essentially, the M2 fairway has given Jason more distance where it matters most — off the tee.
Jason with his Red Spider during his course record-equalling 63 yesterday
The Red Spider Limited Itsy Bitsy spider was reintroduced to the World No. 1’s bag this week. The color red was requested by Jason, which you can read more about by clicking here. Jason gained 3+ strokes against the field with his red new putter, his best putting performance of the year. We’d be surprised to see it come out of the bag anytime soon.
Justin Rose took notice of Jason’s red putter and put a slightly different version in play this week for the PLAYERS. Justin loves the lightweight aluminum body backed with a heavier stainless steel frame that enables weight to be positioned at the extremities, providing improved stability with a high MOI. Rose navigated the tricky greens of TPC Sawgrass well with the Spider Limited Putter gaining upwards of 1.5 strokes on the field with the new flat stick.
Martin Laird switched out of his M1 gamer that he’s played since its launch and is now playing M2 driver. Laird’s been struggling to hit fairways consistently and has been struggling with what he calls a “left goer.” His desired shot shape is a little cut, so he added a Matrix Black Tie shaft to stiffen up impact to help with the left miss. Martin was loving the numbers on his M2, launching it at 10-11° with 2050 RPMs of spin.
Sean O’Hair requested a new set of Tour Preferred MBs with some unique shaping. The TaylorMade Tour Techs performed a “double bend” offset to move the perception of the face closing too early and looking closed at address. The dynamics of his swing allow him to keep the club face square at and through impact to minimize a right miss. To O’Hair’s eye, the double bend looks more square and he can naturally release the club instead of holding on through impact.
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