The result’s of Jae Choi’s first event on the Japanese PGA Tour (JGTO) was a shock to his long time coach, George Pinnell. Jae’s opening score in the first round was 81! This alone caused pause for Pinnell. Jae’s second round was 73, not bad until you look at his scorecard. Jae posted 6 birdies and 7 bogies, very unlike Jae’s normal game. Jae emailed Pinnell, telling his coach that he had “equipment issues” and that he would have them resolved within 2 days? In a later email, Jae explained that he changed his iron’s to Mizuno and had ordered his standard shaft as X-Stiff as he has always used in his Titleist clubs. Mizuno manufacture’s their tour clubs stiffer than US standard X shaft’s. The extra stiffness, combined with a flatter lie made the Mizuno clubs play different than Jae was used to. To Pinnell’s relief, that explained the score’s and missed cut.
Mizuno quickly manufactured a set of iron’s that matched the shaft stiffness that Jae is familiar with. Jae was able to quickly adjust to the new “improved” shaft’s as it showed in his opening day score of even par at his second JGTO Tour Event, The Hommate, played this week at the Azuma Ken Tado Country Club in Nagoya, Japan. Jae posted an even par score of 72 that currently has him in a tie for 11th place. He was in the top 2 positions until he made a double bogey that dropped him into 11th place.
It seems that Jae has found harmony with his iron set make-up and has relieved his coach’s mind as he goes into round 2 today. Let’s hope so.
You can follow Jae on www.jgto.org. Use Google Translate if you do not read Japanese.