Gear Notes: 2010 Masters
Phil Mickelson cracked the crown of his Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic driver at the Shell Houston Open. (A nearly identical driver, the FT Tour, is now available to the public.) Like a patient in critical need of an organ transplant, the club was flown to San Diego on Easter Sunday, where it was met at the airport by the head of Callaway's R&D team, Dr. Alan Hocknell.
According to Callaway, the company, "performed an 'unprecedented repair,' removing the body from the clubface while never taking off the shaft in order to ensure that the loft and lie remained secure."
Hocknell said, “We decided to remove the carbon composite body from the face, and we’ve never done that before, so everyone was a bit nervous. But through a lot of teamwork, we had a new body and weights installed by 1:30 p.m. on Monday."
Meanwhile, back in Augusta, Mickelson texted Hocknell: "How bad is it, Doc? Is she gonna make it?"
Needless to say, the patient made a full recovery, was flown back cross-country, and helped Mickelson win his third green jacket. For the week, Phil hit 60% of the fairways and averaged 297 yards per drive.
Y.E. Yang, winner of the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine, pulled his Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter out of his bag before the start of the Masters and used a TaylorMade Monza Spider Vicino (right) during the championship. Yang took 115 putts at Augusta and averaged an impressive 1.6 putts per green in regulation.
Mike Weir, Henrik Stenson and John Rollins all put new TaylorMade Burner SuperFast drivers in the bag for the first time at the Masters. Sergio Garcia became the first player to put TaylorMade's yet-to-be-released R9 SuperDeep driver into play. He hit 68% of the fairways for the week and averaged 285 yards per drive.
Adam Scott, whose tie for 18th marks his best performance at Augusta since 2002, had been playing a Titleist 909 D2 driver this season. But in order to get more roll on the firm fairways at Augusta National, the Australian decided to play a lower-flying 909 D3 driver instead.
Matteo Manassero, who at age 16 was the youngest player to ever compete in a Masters, also finished as the tournament's low amateur with a final score of four over par. Manassero, who has a bag filled with Titleist clubs, swapped out his AP2 3-iron in favor of a higher-flying hybrid club, a Titleist 909H (21°), so he could stop the ball more quickly on Augusta's firm greens. The young Italian star plans on turning professional in less than three weeks, so look for him to become a Titleist staff player soon.
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(Photos by Mickelson: ; Yang:John Biever/SI, insert Harry How/Getty Images)