The Clubs That Won: J.B. Holmes at the Shell Houston Open
J.B. Holmes’ victory Sunday at the Shell Houston Open—the fourth of his career and first since last year’s Wells Fargo Championship—was an exercise in strength and precision when it mattered.
Holmes finished dead last in the field in driving accuracy (44.6 percent) but more than made up for it by leading the field in driving distance (averaging 312.4 yards), finishing T10 in greens in regulation (79.2 percent) and 11th in strokes gained/putting. For the 2014-15 season, Holmes is 152nd in strokes gained/putting.
Holmes' final round of eight-under 64 is already his third round of 64 or lower this season, following a first-round 62 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and a first-round 64 at Pebble Beach. He began the final round in Texas six shots back in a tie for 18th, but five straight birdies to start the round Sunday (he’d go on to birdie nine of the first 12 holes) vaulted him into the lead.
The driver Holmes had in play was a 9.5° TaylorMade R15 that’s heavily toe-weighted to promote a left-to-right shot shape. It has a 73-gram Fujikura Pro Series White shaft.
Holmes also switched to a TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini driver before the Shell Houston Open. His version is bent from 12° to 11° and features a 93-gram Fujikura Pro TS shaft. Holmes’ victory is the first on the PGA Tour for the 253-cc AeroBurner Mini, a club designed to give players alternatives to both a driver and 3-wood.
The irons Holmes used to finish T10 in GIR are TaylorMade Tour Preferred MCs.
The putter, arguably the most important club in Holmes' bag last week, was an Odyssey Metal-X Milled Versa #7.