Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer can give some thanks to Jordan Spieth and Wesley Bryan for their team victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. That’s because Spieth was Palmer’s partner last year and opted not to play in 2019, while Rahm played with Wesley Bryan, who has been injured in 2019.
“I just sent [Jon Rahm] a text during Palm Springs, and I was just seeing if he was going to bite,” said Palmer. “Fortunately he did.”
In the two four-ball rounds, the pair carded 17 birdies against a lone bogey. In Friday’s foursomes it was an impressive seven-birdie, no-bogey performance in a format where many teams stumble. Rahm and Palmer followed that with a solid four-birdie, one-bogey foursomes effort Sunday to win by three shots over the team of Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood.
“We have very similar games, very similar ball flights off the tee and ball flights with the irons, so it's very easy for us to get in each other's mind and see what's going to happen,” Palmer noted after the third round.
Though each player might have similar games, they have decidedly different approaches to equipment. Palmer’s bag is a hodgepodge of ancient (for tour pros) and new with clubs from four different companies. Palmer’s original TaylorMade M1 460 driver has the weights toward the toe and the rear with the adjustable hosel set a click toward the lower-loft setting. On his TaylorMade R15 5-wood, the weight is also toward the toe and there is a large amount of lead tape on the rear of the sole and toward the toe.
Obviously, with all those birdies, the putter was rather important as well. Palmer’s Odyssey O-Works R-Line Red is a rounded mallet with a red clubhead and a Flat Cat grip, where each side of the grip is in a parallel plane with the putter face.
Rahm, meanwhile is all TaylorMade, including a switch this week from the TP5x ball to the company’s spinnier TP5, which worked well with his TaylorMade P750 irons. Rahm told Golf Digest last year, “I played musclebacks most of my career because I thought it was cool. But when I tried these irons it was just a lot easier, a lot more comfortable when you’re in the fairway and you know that even if you don’t hit it perfect it’s still pretty much going to carry the same distance.”
Rahm’s driver is the company's M5 model with inject-face technology in which the springlike effect of the club is brought beyond the legal limit, then brought back to conformance by injecting a resin behind the face to slow it down just enough to be legal. The club, which has an Aldila Tour Green 75x shaft that is tipped one inch, also employs the company’s TwistFace technology in which the face is gently curved more open on the high toe and closed on the low heel areas to help mitigate mis-hits.
Given the results, Spieth and Bryan are going to the ones looking for new partners next year.
What Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer had in the bag at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (Accra RPG 75), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M2 2017, 16.5 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade R15, 19 degrees
Irons (4): Srixon Z 585; (5-PW): Srixon Z 785
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey O-Works R-Line Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Driver: TaylorMade M5, 10.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M5, 15 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade M5, 19 degrees
Irons (4-PW): TaylorMade P750
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red