What's in the Bag: European Ryder Cup team

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 2, 2012, 3:31 pm

European Ryder Cup team

Nicolas Colsaerts

Driver: Callaway Razr Hawk Tour (9.5 degree; Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.1 shaft)

Fairway Wood: Titleist 910Fd 3-wood (15 degree; Fujikura Rombax 8X07 shaft)

Iron (2): Mizuno Fli-Hi

Irons (3-PW): Callaway Prototype (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (53 and 59 degree)

Putter: Odyssey Black Series-i #1

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Footwear: FootJoy FJ Icon

Glove: FootJoy StaSof

Luke Donald

Driver: TaylorMade RBZ (9.5 degree; Accra XC 65x shaft)

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade RBZ 3-wood (15 degree; Accra XC 75x shaft)

Hybrid: Mizuno CLK FliHi (17 degree; Aldila NV 85x shaft)

Irons (3-PW): Mizuno MP-64 (True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts)

Wedges: Mizuno MP-T4 (54 and 60 degree; True Temper Dynamic Gold Spinner shafts)

Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG #7

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Footwear: Adidas

Sergio Garcia

Driver: TaylorMade R11S (9 degree; Mitsubishi Diamana 103x shaft)

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade RBZ 3-wood (15 degree; Mitsubishi Ahina 70x shaft) and TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 5-wood (18 degree; Mitsubishi Diamana 103x shaft)

Irons (3-PW): TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB (Nippon Shaft N.S. Pro prototype 2G18 shafts)

Wedges: TaylorMade ATV (50 and 58 degree)

Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Tour MA-81

Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP

Footwear: Adidas Golf Crossflex

Peter Hanson

Driver: TaylorMade R11S (8 degree; Accra 65x shaft)

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 3-wood (13.5 degree; Mitsubishi Diamana Kai'li 80x shaft)

Hybrid: TaylorMade Rescue 11 TP (18 degree; Aldila VS Proto 105x shaft)

Irons (4-PW): TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM4 (52, 56 and 60 degree)

Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Spider S prototype

Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP5

Footwear: Adidas Golf ATV

Martin Kaymer

Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour (8 degree; Mitsubishi Fubuki Alpha 70x shaft)

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade RocketBallz Tour TP 3-wood (13.5 degree; Mitsubishi Fubuki Tour 73x shaft)

Hybrid: TaylorMade Rescue 11 (16 degree; Mitsubishi Fubuki shaft)

Irons (3-PW): TaylorMade RAC TP (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour shafts)

Wedges: TaylorMade TP XFT ZTP (54 and 58 degree)

Putter: Ping Anser 2

Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP

Footwear: Adidas

Paul Lawrie

Driver: TaylorMade R11

Fairway Wood: Callaway FT Tour 3-wood (15 degree)

Hybrid: TaylorMade Rescue (19 degree)

Irons (3-PW): Wilson Staff FG Tour

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM4 (52 and 60 degree)

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Blade

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Footwear: FootJoy FJ Icon

Glove: FootJoy

Graeme McDowell

Driver: Cleveland Classic 290 (9 degree; Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 56x shaft)

Fairway Wood: Cleveland Launcher FL 3-wood (14 degree; Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 72x shaft)

Hybrids: Adams Idea Pro a12 (17 degree; Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 83x shaft) and Adams idea a7 (22 degree; Matrix Ozik Altus X shaft)

Irons (4-9): Srixon Z-TX II (Project X 6.5 shafts)

Wedges: Cleveland 588 Forged (48, 52 and 58 degree; Project X 6.5 shafts)

Putter: Odyssey White Hot #7

Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV Pure White

Rory McIlroy

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degree; Mitsubishi Diamana prototype 70x shaft)

Fairway Woods: Titleist 913Fd 3-wood (13.5 degree; Fujikura ZCom Pro 95 shaft) and Titleist 913Fd 5-wood (18 degree; Fujikura Rombax Pro 95 shaft)

Irons (3-9): Titleist 712MB (Project X 6.5 shafts)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design (46, 54 and 60 degree; Project X 6.5 shafts)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Footwear: FootJoy FJ Sport

Glove: FootJoy Pure Touch Limited

Grips: Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound Yellow

Francesco Molinari

Driver: Nike VR_S (9.5 degree; Project X 6A4 shaft)

Fairway Wood: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood (15 degree)

Hybrid: Nike VR Pro (19 and 21 degree)

Irons (4-PW): Nike VR Pro Blade

Wedges: Nike VR Pro (52 and 58 degree)

Putter: Nike Method Core prototype

Ball: Nike 20XI X

Footwear: Nike Lunar Control

Ian Poulter

Driver: Cobra ZL Encore white (8.5 degree; Aldila RIP Phenom 50x shaft)

Fairway Wood: Cobra AMP 3-wood (14 degree; Project X 7B3 shafts)

Hybrids: Cobra Baffler Rail (17.5 degree; Matrix Ozik 85x shaft) and Titleist 909H (21 degree; Aldila NV 85x shaft)

Irons (4-6): Cobra S3 Pro CB (Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)

Irons (7-PW): Cobra S3 Pro MB (Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design (54 and 62 degree; Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)

Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG #7

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Justin Rose

Driver: TaylorMade RBZ (9.5 degree; Matrix Ozik TP6HD shaft)

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade RBZ 3-wood (15 degree; Matrix Ozik 7M3 Black Tie shaft)

Hybrid: TaylorMade Rescue 11 (19 degree; KBS FST Hybrid shaft)

Irons (4-PW): TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB (KBS Tour C-Taper shafts)

Wedges: TaylorMade ATV (52 and 56 degree) and Cleveland 588 (60 degree)

Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Tour DA-12 prototype

Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP5

Footwear: Adidas Golf adicross

Grips: Lamkin Performance Plus 3GEN

Lee Westwood

Driver: Ping G10 (9 degree; Aldila XNV6 shaft)

Fairway Woods: Ping Anser 3-wood (15 degree) and Ping Anser 5-wood (18 degree; Aldila NV 75x shaft)

Irons (3-PW): Ping i20

Wedges: Ping Tour W (54 and 58 degree)

Putter: Ping Anser Milled 1

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Footwear: FootJoy FJ Sport

Glove: FootJoy SciFlex

Other Tournaments

Branden Grace

Sunshine Tour: Vodacom Origins of Golf

Driver: Callaway Razr Fit (8.5 degree)

Fairway Wood: Callaway Razr Fit 3-wood

Hybrid: Callaway X Utility Prototype (18 degree)

Irons (3-PW): Callaway X Forged

Wedges: Callaway X Forged (52 and 60 degree)

Putter: Odyssey Black Series i Tour Design Wide

Ball: Callaway Hex Black Tour

Russell Henley

Web.com Tour: Chiquita Classic

Driver: Nike VR_S (9.5 degree)

Fairway Wood: Nike SQ ll 3-wood (13 degree)

Hybrid: Nike VR Pro (18 degree)

Irons (3, 5-6): Nike VR Pro Cavity

Irons (7-9): Nike VR Pro Combo

Wedges: Nike VR Pro (47, 51, 55 and 59 degree)

Putter: Nike Method 006 prototype

Ball: Nike 20Xi X

Footwear: Nike Lunar Control

Photo by Enrique Berardi/LAAC

Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile

By Nick MentaJanuary 21, 2018, 8:44 pm

Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.

The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from what would be a return trip to Augusta National but his first Masters.

"The truth is that I crossed off on my bucket list playing Augusta [National], because I happened to play there," Rivarola said. "I've played every year with my university. But playing in the Masters is a completely different thing. I have been to the Masters, and I've watched the players play during the practice rounds. But [competing would be] a completely different thing."

He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).

Click here for full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship

Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Web.com Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.

“Today, I had a completely different mentality, and that's usually what happens in my case," Niemann said. "When I shoot a bad round, the following day I have extra motivation. I realize and I feel that I have to play my best golf. The key to being a good golfer is to find those thoughts and to transfer them into good golf."

Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.

Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Web.com Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.

Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.

The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.

Getty Images

McIlroy gets back on track

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

He is well ahead of schedule.

Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

Everything in his life is lined up.

Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

Getty Images

Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

Getty Images

Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.