For many golf fans, the sight of the Pacific Ocean and sunny skies signal the start of the new PGA TOUR season. Luckily, the Farmers Insurance Open and its host venue, Torrey Pines Golf Course, offer that in spades.
Snaking alongside the cliffs of scenic La Jolla, Torrey Pines presents two 18-hole layouts, with the tougher test lying on the famed South Course, host of the 2008 U.S. Open won by Tiger Woods.
While Woods has won at Torrey an astounding 8 times, it’s proven to be a stomping ground for other Team TaylorMade athletes like Jon Rahm, the 2017 winner, and Jason Day, a two-time winner and the defending champion.
One thing these past Torrey champions all have in common, aside from owning the tournament’s signature surfboard trophy, is the fact they’ve all switched into new TaylorMade metalwoods early into the 2019 season.
New Toys for Tiger
After winning the Tour Championship to cap off an incredible comeback season in 2018, Tiger began his 2019 campaign with many new sticks in his bag.
Woods played with an adjustable driver for the first time in his pro career last season with M3, and he has continued to show trust in the performance of TaylorMade’s drivers by choosing M5 driver (9°) in 2019. An M5 fairway (13°) and M3 fairway (19°) round out Tiger’s metalwoods this week.
In another huge change to his setup, Woods will have a new club twirling partner when it comes to his irons. The long-rumored P·7TW irons are a reality—and they’re in play at Torrey, folks.
Tiger has been working closely with TaylorMade on designing a new set from the ground up, and these are the first irons to have TaylorMade’s Milled Grind sole. Tiger’s P·7TWs run from 3-iron down to 9-iron.
TIGER WOODS WITB
- M5 Driver | 9.0° Mitsubishi Diamana White
- M5 Fairway | 13.0° Mitsubishi Diamana White
- M3 Fairway | 19.0° Mitsubishi Diamana White
- P·7TW Irons (3-P) |
- MG Wedges | 56°, 60° | True Temper Tour Issue S40
Rickie’s Rolling a New Rock
In case you haven’t heard yet, Rickie Fowler has joined Team TaylorMade and will play with TP5x golf balls and Tour Preferred gloves. The switch marks the first time in Rickie’s amateur and pro career that he’s played a new ball brand in competition.
With the addition of Fowler, six of the top-12 players in the Official World Golf Rankings now have either the 2019 TP5x or TP5 in play.
From the testing phase to PGA Tour tournament prep at Torrey, Fowler has seen the benefits of the five-layer performance offered by TP5x and is confident it will help improve all facets of his game.
“It’s been fun to see what the ball can do. Extra yardage on irons, more spin around the green. One less club for me into many holes is a pretty big advantage too. What more do you want?”
Defending the Day
With his sights set on a repeat, Day looks to defend his title at Torrey with a bag full of new sticks.
Like many on Team TaylorMade, Day made the switch into the new line of drivers quickly. He’s gaming M6 driver for the first time this week with a new Accra TZ6 shaft that provides more stiffness in the tip that is designed to bring spin down.
In another big switch, Day has added a full set of P·760 irons to his bag for Torrey. Day is gaming a 3-iron to 9-iron in the progressive set, which features SpeedFoam technology in the longer, hollow-body clubs while the shorter irons feature solid, forged construction.
“He was picking up a bit of distance and wasn’t sacrificing descending angle or spin, or peak height and launch or anything,” TaylorMade’s managing director of product development Paul Demkowski said. “He liked the sound and feel better than the P·750s and actually liked the way it was going through the turf a little bit more because it’s a tiny bit wider sole in the P·760s.”
- M6 Driver | 10.5° | Accra TZ6
- M6 Fairway | 15.0°
- P·760 Irons (3-PW)
- HI-TOE Wedges | 50°, 54°, 60° | True Temper S400 Tour Issue
- Spider Tour Red Putter
- 2019 TP5x Golf Ball
Rory Dialing in New Putter
Rory McIlroy put the new Spider X putter in play at Kapalua and immediately found success, as he vaulted into contention at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and was in the mix as part of the final pairing on Sunday.
Determined to find a spark on the greens, McIlroy has continued to test different types of hosel adjustments and sightlines on the new flatstick as he builds up momentum for 2019.
At Torrey, the four-time major champ tested several different hosel and sightline options before settling back on what worked for him at Kapalua, which is the No. 3 hosel with a single, long sightline and the prototypes unique white alignment stripe (more on that in the coming weeks…).
“He was returning the loft perfectly at 2-degrees, which is great for any greens in the country, or in the world,” TaylorMade Director of Sports Marketing Chris Trott said. “He was returning the lie angle every time the same, within one half of a degree, which is exceptional.”
RORY MCILROY WITB
- M5 Driver | 460cc | 9° | MCA Tensei White TX 45.63” | D7 Swing Weight
- M6 Fairway | 15° | MRC Tensei White 80 TX
- P760 2-Iron | Project X HZRDUS 105 (6.5)
- P750 irons (3-4) | Project X (7.0)
- P730 Rors Proto Irons (5-9) | Project X (7.0)
- MG Wedge | 48°| Project X (6.5)
- HI-TOE Wedges | 54°, 60° | Project X (6.5)
- Spider X
- 2019 TP5 Golf Ball | #22
Rahm Rips Apart North Course With New Gear
Death, taxes, and Jon Rahm contending early at Torrey Pines. These are some of the few certainties in (a golfing) life.
It may be a small sample size, but Rahm, who has a bag full of M5 metalwoods this week, has never shot above par in the first and second rounds in three career starts at Torrey Pines.
Thursday proved to be a career day by any measure.
Rahm made seven birdies and two eagles to shoot a 62 (-10) on the North Course. The round was Rahm’s career best on Tour and tied the North Course scoring record (since redesign).
Rahmbo put himself in position to score all day—and he capitalised by hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation.
One change to Rahm’s bag this week was the addition of an M5 fairway (19°).
JON RAHM WITB
- M5 Driver | 10.5° | Aldila Tour Green 70 TX 45.25” | D4 Swing Weight
- M5 Fairway | 15° | Aldila Tour Green 70 TX
- M5 Fairway | 19° | Graphite Design Tour AD
- P750 Irons (4-PW) | Project X (6.5)
- MG Wedge | 52° | Project X (6.5)
- HI-TOE Wedges | 56°, 60° | Project X (6.5)
- Spider Tour Red Putter
- 2019 TP5x Golf Ball | #10