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Sergio Garcia makes adjustments before the US Open

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Always interesting to see what adjustments players make just before a major championship. Sergio Garcia has put TaylorMade-adidas’ R9 460 driver in the bag after hitting it for just a short time in Memphis, said TMaG representatives. He likes the bigger head, figuring he can use it to more easily work the ball both ways. Sergio’s 460 has 9.5 degrees of loft, and he has the adjustable head set two degrees open. (He does this with TMaG’s FCT, or flight control technology, which allows the shaft to be inserted into the hosel in a predetermined position and locked in for use in competition.) Eric Axley and Scott Gutschewski, also in the field next week at Bethpage, also switched into the R9 460.
 
Sergio also got new R9 3- and 5-woods, and requested a set of wedges – the latter is standard procedure for El Nino; he likes to get fresh grooves three times a year. Timing couldn’t be better, what with U.S. Open rough looming in New York.
 
It’s not unusual for players who don’t appear frequently, such as Sergio, to lean on the equipment truck guys pretty hard during a U.S. visit. The truck guys see it coming, and they’re only too happy to help. So is Sergio…more than once we’ve clambered up the steps to the TMaG truck and thrown open the door to see Sergio himself at the grinding wheel, working carefully on a wedge head.
 
Two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen is another self-grinder who we’ve seen in the TMaG truck, happily and placidly shaping away, visions of more trophies no doubt dancing in his head. This week, Retief switched into the TaylorMade-adidas TP Red ball; he found he drove it five to ten yards longer and hit it one club further with his irons.
 
Not in the field for the U.S. Open but also switching to the R9 460 driver were Tyler Aldridge, David Berganio Jr., John Senden, Matthew Borchert and Tim Wilkinson. Scott Verplank also didn’t make it to Bethpage, but he’s thinking about the future. After five years with the TMaG TP forged irons, he has taken on a 3-PW set of Tour Preferred B irons, which have a thin top line but feature a shallow undercut channel to shove the weight out and deep where it belongs. Scott had the new clubs ground for a little bit of offset, which satisfies his preference for a small, traditional head. He says they’re hired and in the bag.

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