For the British Open, Justin Thomas seems to have made a significant change to his golf bag. He revealed to the media that he has been using a new driver for some time, showing off this new driver at the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational.
When he’s not on the course, Justin Thomas uses a variety of golf equipment in an effort to improve his swing. He’s selected a new putter, new golf balls, and new irons in an effort to fix his biggest flaw, which is his inability to maintain momentum through the ball-flight.
Justin Thomas has not lived up to expectations since winning the Players Championship in March. After that victory, the world number three failed to reach the top ten on the PGA Tour, and his problems on grass were the most obvious reason.
Ahead of this weekend’s British Open tennis tournament at Royal St George’s, Thomas traded in his old racket for a new one to address his biggest shortcoming. Will the sudden change of baton help Thomas win the last major of the year, or will it make things worse for the 14-time Tour winner?
Justin Thomas hits a putt during a practice round for the Scottish Open at Renaissance | Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Thomas is elite at just about everything you can do on the golf course. He ranks in the top 13 players in the league in strikeouts: Approach, strikes are chosen: From tee to green, the shots were perfect: round-the-green, and average points this season.
But it was different on the way out.
Of the 18 PGA Tour events he has played this season, Thomas ranks 107th in strokes gained: Accommodation. It wasn’t just the long dead ends that were a problem. Thomas ranks 129th on the tour for 10-foot shots and 103rd for 3-hole shots.
When these small failures pile up for Thomas during a tournament, frustration sets in and his game suffers. Everyone, including Thomas, knows how important ball placement is in the Major League. So he decided to make a change for the Open this weekend.
A new patch this week for Justin Thomas. Changed to @ScottyCameron Phantom X5 with custom touch. The tests showed that the hub and model are more consistent.
The ankle is similar to that of the NP2, but drops down a little less than the JT Gamer. The neck took about a day to make. pic.twitter.com/LWgiroDY4f
– Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) July 8, 2021
After a difficult season on the greens, Thomas finally said enough is enough. Ahead of last weekend’s Scottish Open on the European Tour, the 28-year-old upgraded from a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 club to a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5 Tour Prototype. The new putter features a knuckle-neck design that is more rounded at the edges than traditional flat putters.
At the Scottish Open, Thomas shot 0.23 on his putting in his first start with the new flat club to finish 59th. Place at 156 players. He even made a 90-foot eagle putt in the first round, which earned him a T8 ranking.
For the past five years, JT has had incredible success with his Futura X5.5…but lately he’s been thinking about experimenting with a slightly different look, said Drew Page, spokesman for the Scotty Cameron Tour. We took the shape of the Phantom X 5 clubhead, which he loves, and gave it a neck in the style of the Newport 2, which he has also used in the past. He tested it on different shaft lengths and was able to find a configuration that gave him a more consistent kick pattern with a slightly different visual experience and the same feel he was used to.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to know the meaning of all these complicated terms. Thomas feels more confident with the ball thanks to the new Phantom X 5 Tour prototype, and he hopes that will translate into a good weekend across the Atlantic.
A drastic decision like changing clubs a week before a big championship is usually not a good sign for a player’s confidence. And Thomas will need all the confidence he can get at Royal St. John’s. St. George’s this week.
In four starts at the Open, Thomas has finished in the top 50 only once. He has struggled on links courses for most of his PGA Tour career, but his T8 at the Scottish Open with a new putter last week gives him a big boost ahead of his fourth and final major of the year.
Thomas enters the tournament with 20-to-1 odds to win the British Open. You trust JT and his new baton enough to make an offer?
All statistics are from the PGA Tour
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