Some players near the top of the leader board (Aaron Wise) or the top of the World Ranking (Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy) made putter changes at the Wells Fargo Championship in an effort to kick their game on the greens into gear. For Wise, the move paid huge dividends while the others saw mixed results.
Aaron Wise didn’t track down Jason Day, but he did enjoy his best finish on the PGA Tour by sharing second place with Nick Watney. Wise changed putters at Quail Hollow Club, putting in a Odyssey O-Works Red V-Line Fang CH model (replacing his Odyssey PT ix 5). Wise has used Odyssey mallet putters going back to his college days when he won the NCAA Championship using a #5 head model. Wise first tested the O-Works Red at the Valspar Championship, and in testing he liked how he could aim it with the head shape and the red finish, and how it felt during the stroke. His new gamer also features counterbalance weighting which makes the swingweight lighter than normal.
Golf aficionados are well aware that Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas are best buds and this past week that extended to a little equipment courtesy. Thomas, who won the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow last August, was somewhat disgusted with his putting after the opening round and was on the practice green trying something different when he asked Fowler if he had any backups he could try.
“I putted so terribly,” Thomas said. “It was that desperate in terms of how I was feeling over the putter.” Fowler handed over a Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 and Thomas used it the rest of the way, eventually finishing T-21. Going forward, Thomas said he will will return the putter to Fowler and have a Newport 2 of his own made for him. Of course, Thomas might not have liked the fact that Fowler’s name was stamped on the rear bumpers of the putter.
Rory McIlroy’s 29th birthday fell during Wells Fargo week, and the Northern Irishman gave himself a present of sorts in the form of a new putter. Though McIlroy stuck with a TaylorMade TP Soto blade model—which he used in his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a couple months ago—McIlroy’s new flat stick had a plumber’s neck and no face insert (his previous Soto had a slant neck with a face insert).
Photos also revealed that the new putter didn’t have heel or toe weights on the sole, either.