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Choi buys irons off the rack, shoots 72 at Memorial

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Unlike at most PGA Tour events, Jack Nicklaus doesn’t allow equipment manufacturer vans on site at The Memorial Tournament. So what happens if a competitor wants to make a change to his bag? Well, in the case of K.J. Choi, he goes shopping.

A noted tinkerer and tweaker, Choi showed up at a local Golf Galaxy retail store this week and purchased a set of Mizuno MP-64 irons (4-iron through pitching wedge) off the rack.

So far, so good. Choi opened with an even-par 72 at Muirfield Village that included four birdies. His iron play wasn’t spectacular, but certainly wasn’t poor, either. He hit 12-of-18 greens in regulation and had an average distance to the pin of 31 feet, 5 inches.

According to a store employee, the eight-time PGA Tour winner tested numerous sets of clubs, but found varied swing weights in all but the MP-64s.

While it’s uncommon for a top-level professional golfer to pick up a set of irons at a retail store, others have used store-bought clubs with a spectrum of success. Notably, Jim Furyk purchased a putter for $39 at a retail store outside Boston in 2010, and a few weeks later, used it to win the Tour Championship.