Mizuno shifts to classic game improvement

By Global Golf PostOctober 5, 2010, 11:38 pm

Mizuno’s latest iron offerings, the JPX-800 and JPX-800 Pro, represent a new market segment foray for the Japanese equipment maker, between the one in which it sells its fabled forged blades and another that includes the cast, super-game-improvement clubs it has also produced with strong results.

Mizuno JPX-800 Irons“This is a new category for us, and we think the JPXs will give us a very broad appeal with golfers ranging from scratch players to those with handicaps in the mid-20s,” says David Llewellyn, golf club R&D manager for Mizuno USA. “The clubs do not have a lot of offset or overly thick top-lines and soles. Yet they are designed to be the longest, most forgiving irons we have ever made.”

Mizuno uses a new manufacturing process called “Hot Metal” construction with the cast JPX-800 that increases the natural strength of the ultra-thin clubface in an effort to enhance distance. At the same time, it employs what company officials describe as “MAX COR” construction in the 4-7 irons to deliver the highest allowable COR as well as a center of gravity that is low and deep. A pocket cavity with an external power-bar design, which expands the sweet-spot area and lowers the center of gravity, is utilized in the scoring irons, from 8 to PW. In addition, an aggressive triple-cut sole ensures solid ball striking from all types of lies, while a multi-material cavity badge provides tuned impact sound.

As for the JPX-800 Pro, it features the highest COR in a one-piece, Grain Flow forged Mizuno iron. A large cavity is created using a milling process that thins the face to raise ball speed as it optimizes a low, deep center of gravity.

“The performance with this iron is just as strong as the JPX-800 with regards to distance and forgiveness,” says Llewellyn. “But the clubhead is a little smaller, the sole a bit narrower and the top-line a little thinner. There is also less offset.”

The JPX-800 irons are available in right- and left-handed models, with True Temper Dynalite Gold XP steel and Mizuno Exsar IS4 graphite shafts stock. With regards to the JPX-100 Pro, it comes in right-handed models only and with the Dynalite Gold XP shafts.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.