Off-Season Putter Switch Pays Off for Sang-Moon Bae
Sang-Moon Bae made a timely and lucrative putter switch during his off-season that helped lead the 28-year-old to victory at the Frys.com Open, the PGA Tour’s 2014-15 season opener.
Bae started using a limited edition Odyssey Damascus Grand Putter while practicing in Japan during his off weeks (his 2013-14 season ended after missing the cut at the Barclays). The 349-gram putter was one of 350 Japan-only models built, each of which cost $3,500. If you were lucky enough to snag one of these rare pieces, the putter came in a hand-crafted oak box with a leather headcover. The club itself features Damascus steel—a rare material that was often used in Middle Eastern swordmaking—and a black PVD finish.
Bae’s putting performance wasn’t the sole reason for his triumphant week (he was 18th in putts per green in regulation and T-42 in strokes gained/putting), but the South Korean did make a number of clutch putts en route to victory. An eagle putt on the par-4 17th hole Saturday from just inside six feet set up by a perfect 294-yard drive gave Bae a three-shot lead, which he extended to four shots after closing the third round with a birdie at 18.
Bae also drained a 15-footer for birdie on the 12th hole Sunday that helped steady the ship in the midst of a rough stretch (bogeys on 11, 13 and 14). From there, Bae finished solidly with pars on holes 15-18 for a two-shot win over Steven Bowditch.