Winner's Bag: Dustin Johnson, Genesis Open
It’s easy when discussing Dustin Johnson’s key equipment to always focus on the driver, and certainly this week at the Genesis Open that would apply as Johnson changed to a TaylorMade M1 2017 with the movable weights set in the toe and back to help him with his power fade. But it was Johnson’s putting, however, that allowed the reigning U.S. Open champion to run away with the title at Riviera CC near Los Angeles.
Although he fiddled with some putters early in the week, Johnson stuck with his black TaylorMade Spider Limited Tour mallet. He did make a change to the grip, though, having a SuperStroke grip installed on his putter.
According to Arnie Cunningham, tour rep for SuperStroke, the grip is a prototype cord oversize grip, the Countercore Pistol GT 1.0, but in Johnson’s case, with no weight. Johnson also tested the company’s Pistol Tour Cord, but eventually opted for the GT 1.0. The fatter grip had the desired effect for Johnson, as Johnson had a stretch of 52 holes where he didn’t make a bogey and picked up nearly eight strokes on the field for the week in the strokes gained/putting stat. Last year Johnson's putting improved to the point where he ranked 36th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained. This year, however, he had struggled on the greens, falling to 134th in that statistic.
That all changed at Riviera. “I’m feeling really comfortable over it,” Johnson said about his putting. “I’m seeing the lines really well and I feel like I’ve got a pretty good touch on the greens right now.” Apparently so.
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Driver: TaylorMade M1 2017 (Fujikura Speeder 661x Tour Spec 2.0), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour 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