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Despite all the rain last week in Atlanta, the grounds staff at East Lake was able to, not only make the course playable, but difficult! While the course was soft from tee to green, the greens were firm and prevented players from really attacking the pins resulting in only eight players breaking par in round one. After the players got through the first nine, the grounds crew was actually watering the greens which almost seems comical considering the deluge the course suffered last weekend. Although more rain is in the forecast for Friday, expect the greens to remain fast and firm for the second round, although you can also expect the players to make some adjustments and find some birdies out on the course.
We're seeing a lot of players wearing SYNR-G this week at East Lake as they look for the most stable platform to combat the soggy conditions. SYNR-G wearers Zach Johnson (StaSof glove) and Steve Stricker (PureTouch Limited glove), who both wore style #53870 in round one and can win the FedEx Cup by winning THE TOUR Championship, sit at even par after round one, just four shots back. Padraig Harrington (SYNR-G style #53918, PureTouch Limited glove) continues to play well and sits just one shot off the lead following a first round 3-under 67. Harrington has finished in the top 10 in each of his last five starts, including two runner-up placements.
Marc Leishman (SYNR-G style #53883) is playing in his first TOUR Championship and is in great position following a first round even par 70.
The story from East Lake so far this week has been rain but it appears the course has rebounded nicely so we can begin to focus on the incredible drama that could unfold Sunday afternoon. While there still may be some debate and confusion about the format of the FedEx Cup, the players seem to be very supportive of the change that allows for any player in the top five in FedEx Cup points to win the cup by winning the TOUR Championship this week. Three of the five players who control their own destiny, and could be putting for $10 million come Sunday evening - Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum - wear FootJoy's SYNR-G golf shoes.Lorne Rubenstein of the Globe & Mail debates the "greatness" of East Lake Golf Club as a championship course, considering the unusual par-3 closing hole.Tim Rosaforte tells a great story of perseverance about local Massachusetts golfer, Fran Quinn, who birdied his final hole last week to win the Nationwide Tour's Albertson's Boise Open. The 44-year-old, who wears the new SYNR-G style #53918, all but assured himself of a PGA Tour card for next season, his first since 1992.Let's see what some of our colleagues are up to:
TITLEIST - Check out this cool Ball Mark Trivia Game on the Titleist blog and find out some things you may not know about the players who will be teeing up a Titleist today at THE TOUR Championship.CAMERON - You never know what Tour player or VIP you might see when you peak inside the Scotty Cameron putter studio. The latest look unveiled a 9-time world surfing champion who stopped by for some help with his putter.COBRA - In the latest edition of "Face Off with Feherty," Gary asks David Feherty, considering his new citizenship in the United States, would he ever consider a role as assistant captain on the U.S. Ryder Cup team?
WHO'S YOUR PICK TO WIN THE FEDEX CUP?
Here's a great breakdown from PGATOUR.com of each player in the top 30 and what each must do to win the FedEx Cup. More than half the field will be wearing FJ shoes, so which FOOTJOY player has the best chance of bringing home the hardware and the $10 million prize? Is it Stricker, Zach or Heath who can win the Cup by winning THE TOUR Championship or is it someone from further back in the rankings? Click on COMMENTS to give us your guess as to how this plays out!
Following a disappointing finish at The Barclays where he missed a putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff, Steve Stricker (SYNR-G, PureTouch Limited) rebounded in a huge way Monday at the Deutsche Bank Championship. With fellow FootJoy players Jason Dufner (FJ ICON) and Scott Verplank (ReelFit) waiting on the tee for a possible playoff, Stricker drained a 15-footer for birdie on the 17th hole then slammed the door with a clutch up-and-down for birdie from just off the 18th green to win by one. The victory was Stricker's third of the season, moved him up to a career-high No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking and gave him sole possession of the lead in the FedExCup standings heading to Chicago for the third of four playoff events.
We were on the range Tuesday at the PGA Tour's second playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship. We were not only checking in with our FootJoy players but also set up a large display to show them the full line of FJ ICON styles and all the options available through the MyJoys program. In short, the players were thrilled! Check out the pictures from Wednesday and we'll post video next week so you can hear what players such as David Toms, Charley Hoffman, John Merrick and Jason Bohn think of FootJoy's new flagship product and all the custom options!
One week after Heath Slocum (SYNR-G style #53925, StaSof glove) wondered if he would even make it to the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, he finished off a compelling afternoon at Liberty National by making a 20-foot par putt on the 18th hole to win The Barclays by one shot. "That putt was magical," Slocum said. "I'll remember that the rest of my life."Slocum was tied for the lead with fellow SYNR-G loyalist Steve Stricker (SYNR-G style #53883, PureTouch Limited glove) going to the final hole. Both hit into fairway bunkers off the tee and neither could reach the green. With several of the world's top players waiting in the wings for a playoff should neither make par, Slocum raised both arms in the air when his par putt broke gently back to the left and disappeared into the cup.Stricker had a 10-foot par putt to force a playoff with Slocum but cringed when it caught the left lip. He closed with a 69 and finished in a four-way tie for second.Slocum qualified for these Playoffs with two points to spare -- he was No. 124 out of 125 players who advanced to this postseason bonanza. His victory assures him a spot in THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola and a shot at the $10 million prize."That's what it's all about," Slocum said. "I was sweating it out last week. I didn't even know if I'd be here. I came in here with the attitude that I had nothing to lose."He turned into a huge winner.Slocum, who came into The Barclays at No. 197 in the Official World Golf Ranking, finished at 9-under 275 and earned $1.35 million for his third career PGA TOUR victory, and first in four years. He vaults from 124th in the FedEx Cup rankings to number three.
Padraig Harrington finished runner-up at the WGC-Bridgestone
Invitational in preparation for his title defense at this week's PGA
Championship. Hear what he had to say after the round.
Padraig Harrington (SYNR-G style #53918, PureTouch Limited glove) opened with a bogey-free 6-under 64 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to lead by one after the first round. Click on the video below to hear about some of the key shots of the round as well as some insight into how a major champion approaches the final few holes when he knows he's working on a solid round.
While checking out images from the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, we found a shot of Padraig Harrington wearing our newest style of SYNR-G golf shoe ... style #53918. At the time of this post, he is in the lead at 6-under par, two clear of the field.
Leave a comment and let us know what you think of this new style.
We've got more photos from our FJ folks onsite at Turnberry! Pretty busy few days for everyone at the Open Championship, especially the players as they make final preparations for tomorrow's opening round. One of my favorite sayings is that you can't win a major on Thursday, but you can certainly lose one! Can't wait to see how this event unfolds, starting tomorrow morning.
Click here to begin the slideshow.:
Steve Stricker followed a sizzling 61 on Saturday with 36 solid holes on Sunday to win the John Deere Classic by three strokes. As he's done most of the season, Stricker relied on the comfort and stability of SYNR-G golf shoes to carry him through a long day. He also trusted the FootJoy Pure Touch Limited glove.
Stricker completed his third round in the morning with a 3-under 68, then fired a 7-under 64 in the fourth round to finish at 264 for the tournament. That earned him his second PGA Tour win this year and sixth in all.
His approach to the 13th green in the fourth round stopped 3 feet from the cup, setting up a birdie that put him at 19 under, but he just missed two birdie putts on the 15th and 16th holes. His 11-footer on No. 15 rolled around the rim, and his 12-footer on the par-3 16th stopped a few inches from the cup. Stricker finally went to 20 under on the par-5 17th, tapping in for birdie after his 50-footer hit the rim.
His best shot was when he holed out from the fairway for an eagle on the par-4 No. 6 in the fourth round, his 98-yard shot clearing a bunker and landing in the cup to put him at 17 under. That tied him for the lead with fellow FootJoy player Zach Johnson, who was off the course long before Stricker. Johnson tied for second with Brett Quigley who also qualified for this week's British Open with his top five finish.
Six days after fellow FJ player Hunter Mahan (FJ ICON style #52112) tied a course record with an 8-under 62 at Congressional, Steve Stricker (SYNR-G style #53883) did the same with a 10-under 61 at TPC Deere Run. Amazingly, he needed just nine putts on his first nine holes and 22 in all, matching a career best. The 61 tied the career low he set in January in the third round at the 50th Bob Hope Classic. With 36 holes set to be played tomorrow, Stricker will start the day three shots off the lead.
Click on the image below to hear Steve's thoughts following the round.
[by Guy Smith, Acushnet Company European Tour Rep]
With the Race To Dubai really heating up, the two highest placed FootJoy shoe wearers, Rory McIlroy and Ross Fisher, positions 3 & 4 respectively, are sitting out the French Open this week in preparation for the Open Championship at Turnberry in two weeks time. This will open the door to the other 10 FootJoy shoe wearers currently in the Race To Dubai top 20 to catch up to them.
Last year's winner, Pablo Larrazabal is really looking forward to defending the title he won last year. It is turning into a very special week for the Larrazabal family, as Pablo's brother, Alex, has joined him in the French Open field after qualifying for the tournament last week. This is exactly what Pablo did last year before storming to an emphatic victory over the Golf National course to claim his first European Tour title and helped him to become the Sir Henry Cotton, Rookie of the Year. Can lightning strike twice!?
Another player who loves this tournament is FootJoy wearer Soren Hansen, he finished in third place last year. He was in fine form this week and looking to improve on last years finish.
The big story of the week has been the launch of the FJ ICON shoes to the European Tour. Players came to visit the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle to collect their new shoes, and only positive responses were heard. The majority of comments included how light the shoes felt and how comfortable they were. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these on the players this week and the next few weeks. More styles will be released to the players at The Open Championship.
One player already wearing the FJ ICON shoe is Ian Poulter. It was good to see him again in Europe after a long spell across the Pond on the USPGA Tour. Ian will certainly fancy his chances this week as he has been showing some great form and can't be too far away from a win. He is joined in the field by Angel Cabrera, who will be looking to add to his Masters crown earlier in the season and SYNR-G and FootJoy PureTouch wearer, Padraig Harrington.
A day after matching the course record with a 10-under 60, Zach Johnson (SYNR-G style #53870, SciFlex) made a 12-foot birdie on the first playoff hole to repeat as the Valero Texas Open champion Sunday.
Seven months after winning for the first time at La Cantera Golf Club when the tournament was part of the Fall Series, Johnson’s even-par 70 was good enough for a 15-under 265 and forced the sudden-death playoff. Johnson now leads the FedEx Cup standings following his second victory of the season.
Zach Johnson (SYNR-G, SciFlex) fired a 4-under 68 Saturday that included a par-birdie-par finish along one of the toughest closing stretches in golf to take a two shot lead going into the final round. Click on the image below to hear what Zach had to say after his round. Also hear what George McNeill had to say. He's one of three players at 9-under who will be chasing Zach as he goes for his second win of the season.
Zach Johnson (Leader; 11-under par)
George McNeill (T2; 9-under par)