Henley Wins Houston Open With Titleist Gear
Russell Henley had thought he would take this week off but, as Adam Hadwin found after his win at the Valspar, along with the Shell Houston Open trophy and winner’s check for $1.26 million Henley earned an invitation to play in the Masters.
The personable 27-year old from Macon, Ga., had an outstanding Sunday round of 65 (10 birdies, one bogey and one double bogey) to catch and pass third round leader Sung Kang who finished in second three strokes behind.
Henley plays all Titleist equipment though until last summer he had been a Nike Golf staff member, playing their clubs since his junior year at the University of Georgia. Like many other professionals who had an endorsement contract with Nike, the arrangement was cancelled when the company decided to pull out of the club and ball business to concentrate on selling shoes and apparel.
Henley used Nike equipment for the previous two PGA Tour wins at the 2014 Honda Classic and the 2013 Sony Open. At the Houston Open, Henley used Titleist clubs included the 716 AP2 model irons that since their release in 2016 have become popular with both touring professionals and low handicap amateurs. Tungsten weighting is co-forged behind the face, in the toe and in the heel which pushes the center of gravity low in the club head and increases the resistance to twisting. The sole was made slightly wider than the preceding 714 model with relief on the trailing edge to allow the AP2s to pass more smoothly through the turf. Ball trajectory is maintained with progressive placement of the center of gravity.
Henley’s Winning Bag:
Driver: 8.5 degree Titleist 917D2 (Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ Plus 83X shaft)
Fairway Wood: 15 degree Titleist 917F2 (Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ Plus 80 shaft)
Irons: 3-iron Titleist 716 T-MB (Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage S Tini 100 TX shaft); 4-through 9-iron Titleist 716 AP2 (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)
Wedges: 46-, 50-, 54- and 58-degree Vokey Design SM6 (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts in 46-, 50- and True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts in 54-, 58-)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Rat 2
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Henley had 27 birdies for the week the same as Rickie Fowler who finished in a tie for third place four shots behind.
The Shell Houston Open, a fixture on tour since 1991, has neither a location nor a sponsor signed for 2018.
106 of the 144 players at the Shell Houston Open used Titleist equipment.
Everyone acknowledges Cleveland Golf makes great wedges but we also like their line of putters specifically the Huntington Beach Collection milled putters that came out last year.
Three new models, the 3, 6C and 10, are made of a soft stainless steel with a diamond-pattern milled face at a pocketbook-friendly $100.
PING is showing two new Putting Lab Design limited-edition models, the Camo Ketsch Realtree Xtra and the Camo Ketsch Muddy Girl for about $325.
Rory McIlroy has opted to continue with Nike Golf apparel sponsorship, signing a multiple year contract extension. Like Henley he no longer carries any Nike clubs but has no equipment contract as yet. His bag is a mixture including the Callaway Epic Sub Zero driver and the Titleist Pro V1x ball.
Parson Xtreme golf announced two new low spin drivers, 0811X and 0811LX. Both will retail for $850.
TaylorMade isn’t particularly known for its putters, but their Spider Tour was the most played model at Houston, as it has been for the past seven weeks. This includes Houston runner up Sung Kang, who put on an impressive putting display. The Spider Tour is also the flat stick of choice for Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm and Jason Day.