NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
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The most surprising equipment news of early 2020 broke last week when Sergio García told reporters that he and Callaway Golf mutually parted ways. The 2017 Masters champion had a two-year run with the company but now has overhauled his equipment quickly in favor of what he hopes will be a better fit for his game.
“At the moment, I’m a free agent,” García said in his news conference prior to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. “So I’m playing whatever feels best for me or fits me best. That’s where we are and that’s what I’ve been working on this Christmas break.”
García had been with TaylorMade for 15 years before signing with Callaway. He was spotted last week with a Ping G410 driver, a set of Ping Blueprint irons and Ping Glide 3.0 wedges to go along with a TaylorMade SIM fairway wood.
Although García departed the Callaway staff, Matt Wallace signed a multiyear deal with the company. Wallace, the 29-year-old Englishman who began last week ranked No. 32 in the world, will have a full Callaway bag that includes a 9-degree Mavrik Sub Zero driver and 15-degree Mavrik Sub Zero 3-wood.
Early returns for players deploying the new Mavrik driver have been positive. Xander Schauffele used the club to win three points at the Presidents Cup before nearly repeating as winner at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Marc Leishman switched at the Sony Open in Hawaii and had his best strokes-gained-off-the-tee performance in nearly three years.
“This was the easiest driver fit I’ve ever had,” Leishman told PGATour.com. “I think the new Mavrik driver will suit me a little better than the Epic Flash and I’m definitely feeling very confident with it.”
While it’s not surprising to see drivers making gear headlines, it’s not every week that shoes are discussed. Last week there was the debut of Brooks Koepka’s Nike Air Zoom Infinity, a golf shoe designed to accommodate an interesting request – Koepka wanted to be able to run in them. There is no confirmation about whether he wore the new kicks for a jog after his opening round in Abu Dhabi, but he did shoot 6-under 66.
At The American Express event in California, FootJoy had a 64 percent to 19 percent advantage on its closest competitor among PGA Tour players in the shoe category.