Talor Gooch won the 2021 RSM Classic in comfortable fashion, shooting a bogey-free 64 to tie the 72-hole scoring record at Sea Island (22-under) to win by three shots over Mackenzie Hughes.
It not only marked Gooch’s first victory in 104 career starts, but it was also only his 10th career top-10 finish, his previous best being a T-3 at the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open.
But at Sea Island, Gooch played a career-changing four rounds, including a bogey-free final-round 64 that included a number of approach shots that finished inside 10 feet, leading to six birdies on the day.
Gooch knocked approaches to four feet, nine feet, six feet and just inside 10 feet over the first 11 holes and converted those putts for birdies on Nos. 2, 4, 10 and 11. Another birdie on the 13th after an approach to 16 feet further separated Gooch from the field.
His irons are a split set of Callaway X Forged CBs (4- through 6-irons) and Apex MBs (7- through 9-irons) with Nippon Pro Modus3 125x shafts. His wedges are the company’s Jaws MD5 model with a 46-degree serving as his pitching wedge then rounds out his set with lofts of 52, 56 and 60 degrees. The shafts in the wedges are True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400.
For the week Gooch ranked third in strokes gained/approach the green, picking up nearly six shots on the field. He also was ninth in greens in regulation.
Solid iron play is nice, but if you don’t cash in the chances it means little. Gooch more than made his share of putts, ranking fifth in strokes gained/putting and T-8 in putts per green in regulation with an Odyssey prototype blade-style putter that he first put into play at Sea Island. Although Odyssey did not offer additional details, zooming in on photos of Gooch using the putter reveals the Tri Hot name in the back cavity.
According to Odyssey, Gooch liked his mallet setup but was excited to try the new blade. In testing he saw an increase in rotation which caused him to close the face more, which he liked. It also gave him slightly more shaft lean, which provided less loft at impact, providing a quicker forward roll after impact.
Regardless of the model, Gooch used the putter to great effect and was comfortable with it from the get-go. Comfortable enough to get his first victory on the PGA Tour.
Inside the winning clubs Talor Gooch used at the 2021 RSM Classic:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: Callaway Epic Speed (Fujikura Atmos Blue 7X), 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Rogue, 15 degrees
Hybrid: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815, 20 degrees
Irons (4-6): Callaway X Forged CB; (7-9): Callaway Apex MB; (PW): Callaway Jaws MD5
Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey prototype blade