Westwood hoping new Ping irons, putter will help deliver first major title

Westwood hoping new Ping irons, putter will help deliver first major title

Lee Westwood won the Nordea Masters by five shots with a new set of Ping irons.
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SAN FRANCISCO — Lee Westwood used a set of Ping i20 irons and a Ping Nome putter for the first time in competition Saturday and won the Nordea Masters by five shots.

"They are staying in the bag,” Westwood said after his win. “I am going to take a lot of positives to San Francisco. I have played really well here this week. You don't win by five shots not playing well."

One of the best golfers in the world who has never won a major championship, Westwood doesn't often make changes to his equipment. He had been using his previous irons, Ping i10s, for more than five years. "Before that, I used a set of Ping Zing 2 irons for about 12 to 15 years,” he said. “I'm a bit of a creature of habit."

According to Chance Cozby, Ping's director of tournament player relations, Westwood's i20 irons are .25 inches longer than standard with standard lofts and Ping's JZ stiff shafts.

While it’s rare for Westwood to alter his irons, he’s been more open to switching putters. the world’s No. 3 has recently been using a customized Ping Redwood Anser with a dark finish and weights in the toe and heel.

"If I pick up a putter and the grip feels nice in my hands, then that's a really good start," he said.

While the Redwood Anser is an updated version of Ping's classic blade, the Nome is a midsize mallet that features a black section covering a portion of the crown and a long, white alignment line stretching from the face to the back of the head. Cozby says that Westwood's Nome is 35" long and has 3° of loft.

In February, Hunter Mahan, who also used to play a Ping blade-style putter, switched to a Nome after one practice session before the start of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He went on to win that tournament and has continued to use the Nome.

(Related Photos: See more mallet putters)

Westwood hopes to find the fairways at Olympic with his venerable Ping G10 driver, but he's obviously brimming with confidence in his new irons and putter. "It didn’t look like I was hitting it close on the last three holes," he told reporters in Sweden, "But I can tell you those last three holes I hit it exactly where I wanted to every time.”

He'll need to keep doing that if he wants to contend at the U.S. Open.