Justin Thomas in action during round one of the 2017 CIMB Classic. The two-time defending champion would finish the round with a 70, the second-worst round of his career at TPC Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Stanley Chou)
By E. Michael Johnson
Although television didn’t show Justin Thomas’ playoff win over Marc Leishman at the inaugural CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, there was no doubt that Thomas’ iron play was largely responsible for the victory.
Thomas ran off three birdies in a row on holes nine through 11 to take a two-stroke lead, then birdied the 18th (nearly eagling it after a stellar approach shot). Another fine approach on the second playoff hole on the par-5 18th sealed the win, as Leishman found water.
Thomas employs a split set of Titleist irons, something everyday golfers should consider. His set consists of a Titleist 716 CB 4-iron, the company’s new 718 MB for his 5- through 9-irons and a Titleist Vokey SM6 pitching wedge, eschewing a set wedge for one that better matches his wedges.
In speaking with Golf Digest earlier this year, Thomas spoke about his change to the new irons mid year. “It was an easy transition,” he said. “I liked them right away. They are very similar to what I have now, but I liked the updates. They were more forgiving and I was able to hit the shots I wanted and the shot shapes I like to see. … It looks clean at address. The feel is great, they go through the turf well, they have a good sound to them. All the irons are great, but I’ve used blades most of my life. I’m hitting them well I’m not about to change.”
Given recent form, nor should he.
Here’s what’s in the bag of Justin Thomas
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 917D2 (Mitsubishi Diamana BF60 TX), 8.5 degrees
3-wood: Titleist 917F2, 15 degrees
5-wood: Titleist 915Fd, 18 degrees
Irons (4): Titleist 716 CB; (5-9): Titleist 718 MB prototype; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM6
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 (52, 56 degrees); Titleist Vokey SM6 (60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura X5