A borrowed driver, and Young is off and running again

by | Oct 23, 2022 | PGA

RIDGELAND, S.C. – At THE CJ CUP in South Carolina, Shane Lowry – who had his putter snap in the ninth fairway on Thursday – wasn’t the only player needing to make some equipment changes on the fly. 

Cameron Young felt as if something had gone awry with his driver during his back nine Friday in the second round at Congaree Golf Club. Young is one of the hardest swingers on the PGA TOUR – ranking fourth in swing speed average (123.68 mph) last season, and third in driving distance (319.3 yards) – so every few months he said he takes a hard look at changing out driver heads.  

Friday, he did not crack his driver face but somehow altered it enough to remove it from play. Early into his back nine, it seemed strange to him to see a few of his drives react as they did. 

“I hit a couple off the heel that didn’t act correctly,” Young said.” I know the ‘heely’ ones tend to cut a little bit, but I hit a couple that curved like 60 yards. It just didn’t seem right.”

On Saturday, he had a newly assembled driver in the bag, having borrowed a TSi3 9.5-degree head from fellow Titleist staffer Webb Simpson, attaching it to his regular gamer shaft. Young instantly could feel a difference. It showed in his play, too. Young birdied four of his first five holes and shot his low round of the tournament, a 5-under 66 that moved him to 5-under for 54 holes. 

“As soon as I hit the other one, the driver flights were just a lot straighter,” Young said. “I think the (original) driver was not fully intact. He (Simpson) was nice enough to give me one.”

It was Simpson, a captains’ assistant to Davis Love III at the recent Presidents Cup, who surprised Young during his Wednesday news conference by delivering the Arnold Palmer Trophy that Young had earned as 2021-22 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. (Simpson was joined by former ROY Sungjae Im of South Korea).

Young earned the vote of his peers as the top rookie after a solid rookie campaign in which he finished second five times (including a solo second at The Open Championship at St. Andrews) and third twice (once at the PGA Championship, where he was finished one shot out of a playoff). 

For Young, it has been a memorable year, and the last few months have been busy. He climbed into the top 20 in the World Ranking, made the TOUR Championship, and played in his first Presidents Cup. Off the course, he and his wife moved into a new home in Florida as they ready for the arrival of their second child later next month. 

This week, Young has managed to go lower each day, opening with 73, shooting 69 on Friday despite his driver troubles (he ranked 73rd in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee) and 65 on Saturday, even though he felt as if he left a few shots on the course. He said he has struggled to summon energy after a 15-hour return flight from Japan to start the week.

original article can be found here