Nippon press release
Nippon shafts win in Hawaii
Nippon Shaft won the first full-field PGA TOUR event of the new golf season Sunday, recording a two-shot victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Nippon Shaft players also finished in a tie for second and a tie for 10th.
The 31-year-old champion used the N.S. PRO Modus3 Tour 120 X flex shafts in irons to finish at 13-under par 267 and take home a winner’s check worth $990,000. The victory at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu was the third of his career and his first since early last season. With it he earned an invitation to this year’s Masters Tournament, his first since he debuted at Augusta National in 2008.
“Nippon Shaft congratulates the winner on an exciting victory in the first full-field PGA TOUR event of the season and applauds the two other top 10 finishers who used Nippon Shaft products in their irons,” said Hiro Fukuda, sales and marketing for Nippon Shaft. “Nippon Shaft is pleased and proud that the N.S. PRO Modus3 Tour 120 shafts could contribute role to the success of three PGA TOUR stars.”
Sunday’s victory was anything but a foregone conclusion for the 6-foot 3-inch native Texan, who played his college golf at Virginia Tech. Over the course of a picturesque afternoon, he and five other players had a share of the lead at one time or another. But the Nippon Shaft devotee prevailed by going bogey-free over his last 12 holes and adding two birdies to finish with a 3-under par 67.
It was his second strong finish two weeks into the young season. Last week, he finished tied for ninth at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, a limited field event of 27 players, and now is No. 1 on the money list at $1,155,000 – about $70,000 less than he earned all of last year in 25 events.
The runner-up finished two strokes back at 11-under par 269 after shooting 3-under 67 in the final round. The 40-year-old Dallas native used an N.S. PRO Modus3 PROTOTYPE X flex steel shaft in his Titleist irons and shared second place with three other players.
The 10th place finisher recorded a final round 1-over par 71 and concluded his week at 9-under 271. He used a different N.S. PRO Modus3 PROTOTYPE X flex steel shafts in his Titleist irons and shared 10th place with two other players.
Nippon Shaft products are available either as stock or custom shafts in many of the world’s top iron brands.
A number of PGA touring pros – including former Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup team members – are playing prototype versions of the MODUS3 shafts in PGA and European PGA tournaments this year. The Tour 120 model weighs between 114 and 126 grams and comes in S, X, and Tour X flex options. An R flex is new this season. Other models still in the testing phase weigh as little as 106 grams and as many as 139 grams – but all meet the requirements of top players.
The N.S. PRO MODUS3 series shafts are popular with tour pros because they offer optimal performance in the three key areas:
- Desired trajectory, which comes as a result of the unique shaft structure;
- Accurate distances, thanks to the shaft’s unique raw steel material and accompanying heat treatment;
- Tight dispersion, which comes from the exacting tolerances of the highest quality level.
Nippon Shaft made its reputation in the late 1990s by developing the first high quality lightweight steel shaft. The revolutionary N.S. PRO 950GH became the industry’s first sub-100 gram steel shaft, combining the stability and consistency of heavier shafts with extremely light weight. Soon, Nippon Shaft grew to be the No. 1-selling shaft in Asia, controlling 80 percent of the market, and No. 2 globally. Along the way, Nippon Shaft recorded more than 100 pro tour victories worldwide and became the dominant shaft on the LPGA Tour.
Nippon Shaft manufactures all of its steel and graphite shafts in a state-of-the-art factory at its headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. The company’s integrated production lines are strictly monitored and controlled with thorough checks conducted responsibly through the entire production process, Fukuda said. As a result, Nippon Shaft is able to control high product quality – from material selection to final testing.