SAN ANTONIO, TX – APRIL 21: Andrew Landry plays his shot from the third tee during the third round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course on April 19, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
By E. Michael Johnson
Andrew Landry made a timely change in the shafts and lofts of his irons heading into this week’s Valero Texas Open, and it might have been just what he needed to capture his first PGA Tour title.
Landry switched to Nippon 105-X shafts from KBS Tour-S in his Ping iBlade irons. He also changed the lofts, having the 4- and 5-iron bent 1 degree weaker, while the 6-iron through pitching wedge was altered a half degree weak.
Landry came into the week ranked 98th in greens in regulation but hit 73.6 percent for the week at TPC San Antonio, despite only hitting 10 greens Sunday. It took enough pressure off to the point where he only had four bogeys for the entire week and only two over the final 61 holes.
The play typified Landry’s all-or-nothing season. Since a playoff loss to Jon Rahm at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, Landry had four consecutive missed cuts before a T-42 at the RBC Heritage. For the season he has missed as many cuts as he has made (six), but has made the weekends he worked the count with four top-10s (including three finishes in the top four).
The iBlade features a super thin face to provide added ball speed, and an elastomer insert behind the face helps dampen vibration while helping allow the face to flex at impact. A high-density tungsten plug in the toe area helps boost stability on off-centre strikes as well.
That technology along with a couple of well-timed tweaks proved a winning combination for Landry in San Antonio.
Andrew Landry’s equipment at the Valero Texas Open
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Ping G30 (Aldila Tour Blue 65X), 9 degrees
3-wood: Ping G, 14.5 degrees
5-wood: Ping G, 17.5 degrees
Irons (3-PW): Ping iBlade
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping PLD