TOUR REPORT — The Barclays at Bethpage Black
With the 2016 PGA TOUR regular season complete, the top 125 competitors head to Farmingdale, NY to kick off the FedExCup Playoffs at the infamous Bethpage Black. Setting up as a par 71, the 7,366-yard monster intends to solidify its standing as one of the toughest challenges in all of golf. Over the next four events, the playoff field will be narrowed down to 30 players, each seeking to claim the FedEx Cup and the astounding 10 million dollar paycheck that comes with it.
Jason Day sits atop the FedExCup Playoff rankings at #1, Dustin Johnson is right on his heels at #2, and Justin Rose enters competition fresh off his historic global victory in South America. Additionally, Jason Day looks to defend his title from the 2015 Barclays and extend his lead as the #1 Golfer in the World.
At this point in the year, it is rare to see players make any significant equipment changes. However, one major adjustment by Dustin Johnson has the golf community seeing stars—this week, DJ is gaming TaylorMade’s special edition red, white, & blue M1 driver. Inspired by his breakthrough major victory at the 116th U.S. Open at Oakmont, TaylorMade designed the patriotic driver to celebrate DJ’s historic win.
Key highlights of the special edition M1:
- It features a red ferrule and a blue-tinted carbon composite crown.
- A sleek, chrome face and an American flag icon just off the toe.
- DJ also incorporated a white paint job on his Fujikura Speeder Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec 661X shaft to bring it all together.
In discussing the change to the new driver, Dustin mentioned that he absolutely loves the patriotic look. It is the same M1 driver technology that has him leading the TOUR in driving distance, but the new colors and inspired style provide a fresh tool for him to utilize out on the course. And it appears the change has already paid off—Dustin finished Round 1 with a 323-yard driving average.
Keith Sbarboro, VP of TOUR Operations, added the following insight about DJ's driver change.
“He is so excited for the Ryder Cup and I think the driver’s design fuels his excitement even more. The American flag icon and the blue crown provide such unique and custom look—he is literally the only player on Tour with one of these drivers, so it’s somewhat of a statement piece for him.”
Beyond aesthetics, the Special Edition M1 has some practical utility as well.
“There’s also a significant contrast with the new chrome face that helps with alignment and centering the clubface,” added Sbarbaro.
Keep an eye out for DJ’s Special Edition M1 driver out at The Barclays as he plays this week. Bethpage Black is a long and daunting challenge for all golfers, but with Dustin’s length off the tee and his internal drive to get to #1 in the world, there is no course that’s too long for DJ and his M1.
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About TaylorMade Golf Company
Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, TaylorMade Golf is a leading manufacturer of high performance golf equipment and golf balls and a major force on the PGA TOUR. With industry-leading innovative products like M1/M2 metalwoods, M1/M2 irons and TP5 golf balls, TaylorMade has one of the strongest athlete portfolios in golf, with six players in the current Top 12 in the world. Key athletes include world no.1 Dustin Johnson, world no.2 Rory McIlroy, world no.3 Jason Day, Masters champion Sergio Garcia, Olympic champion Justin Rose and world no.12 PGA TOUR rookie Jon Rahm.