Despite a little shakiness on the short ones during his two matches Sunday, Dustin Johnson’s work with his TaylorMade Spider Tour putter at Austin Country Club stood out.
Of course, when you win close to twice as many holes as you lose (43 to 22) in match play and never trail for even a single hole over seven matches, your putter has a lot to do with it. “I’m rolling the putter really well,” Johnson said after his quarterfinal win Saturday. “If I can get them on the green, I feel like I can make them.”
That’s a far cry from Johnson’s attitude when he initially made the change at last year’s BMW Championship. Asked about what his expectations were of the putter after making the change, Johnson simply said, “It couldn’t have been any worse than it was, so I didn’t have any.” That’s changed considerably since that time.
The impetus for Johnson’s switch came from playing several rounds during the FedEx Cup Playoffs with Jason Day. After watching Day hole a number of putts with his red-colored version of the club, Johnson decided to try the model out. Still, using the same putter as Day just didn’t sit right with Johnson.
“I had the same one that Jason was using, it was the red one,” said Johnson at the BMW. “And, I don’t know, for some reason I was putting with it and I was putting good with it and right before we were about to tee off on Thursday I’m like, ‘A.J. [Johnson’s brother Austin, who serves as his caddie], don’t you have the same one in black?’ And he says, ‘Yeah,’ and I said, ‘Go get it.’ ” As for the technology that goes into the club, Johnson could care less. “I don't go into that stuff,” he said. “As long as it goes where I’m looking.”
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Driver: TaylorMade M1 2017 (Fujikura Speeder 661x Tour Spec 2.0), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M1 2017, 17 degrees
Irons (2): TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI; (3-PW): TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB 14
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 60 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Limited Tour