Kirk Triplett clearly believes in the “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” thing. Having twice before played the 18th hole and failing to find the green with his second shot on the par-5 finisher, Triplett took a swipe with a 3-wood from 252 yards and once again thought he had come up short. “I thought it was in the bunker,” he told TV viewers after watching his bright, yellow-colored Titleist Pro V1x ball not find the bunker at all, but come to rest some 12 feet from the hole, setting up a winning eagle putt moments later to take the Hoag Classic at Newport Beach C.C.
The club Triplett used for that blow from the fairway was a 15-degree Callaway Rogue 3-wood. Yet while there is no doubt that was the game-changing shot, it was Triplett’s work into and around the greens that put him in that position in the first place.
Not an overly long hitter, Triplett, who is bearing down on his 57th birthday later this month, used his Ping i210 irons to rank 12th in greens in regulation for the week and an old favorite, a Ping Eye2 XG sand wedge to help convert 11 of 14 scrambling opportunities.
But in the end, it was his Pig Sigma 2 Valor putter that served him best. Triplett made enough of his birdie opportunities to rank sixth in putts per green in regulation, including the 12-foot eagle putt in overtime that was on a similar line to a birdie putt he made to tie on the final hole of regulation to tie Woody Austin. Triplett, who won three times on the PGA Tour, now has seven victories on the senior circuit.
What Kirk Triplett had in the bag at the Hoag Classic
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x Yellow
Driver: Ping G400 Max, 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Rogue, 15 degrees
Hybrid: Ping G400, 17 degrees
Irons (3-PW, UW): Ping i210
Wedges: Ping Eye2 XG (58 degrees)
Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Valor