Golf Balls Give Hints to Foursomes Pairings
SAN FRANCISCO — In the foursomes (alternate-shot) matches this week, the players who are paired together will often play different brands of balls. The prevailing wisdom is that the teams should tee off with the ball preferred by the player who will hit the approach shot. Performance of most low-spinning, multilayer balls is fairly similar off the tee, the thinking goes, but the players would notice a different feel when hitting irons and wedges. Since distance control from the fairway is critical to setting up birdies, you want the player who is going to hit the approach shot to use his preferred ball. The rules allow the teams to switch balls after completing a hole.
On Wednesday morning, as the American team practiced on the back nine at Harding Park, I snuck a peek at the balls the players used off the tee, and I used that information to make a guess as to Thursday's pairings, which will be announced later this afternoon.
3. Zach Johnson and Kenny Perry: They both use a Titleist Pro V1x, but Perry asked Zach if he could use one of his balls on the tee at 13. "His is a little bit different than mine," Perry told a bystander. It's very possible that they use a Pro V1x ball from different model years.
6. Stewart Cink and Lucas Glover: Both players use a Nike ONE Tour D ball.