Nippon Shaft tied the record for the lowest final round in the 76-year history of the Masters Sunday when the former Oklahoma Sooner fired an 8-under par 64 at Augusta National.
The 36-year-old native of Richmond, Indiana used Nippon Shaft’s N.S. PRO MODUS3 prototype steel shafts in his irons, which helped him put together a scintillating round that included four birdies (on the 5th, 8th, 14th, and 18th holes), an eagle on the par 5 13th, and a hole-in-one on the par 3 16th.
The 14-year pro improved his status on the leaderboard by 35 spots, finishing in a two-way tie for 17th and a earning $124,000 in prize money. He already has four top 10 finishes this year, No. 1 on the PGA Tour.
“Nippon Shaft is proud that its shafts were installed in the irons used to tie the lowest final-round score ever produced at Augusta National during the Masters,” said Hiroyuki Fukuda, head of sales and marketing for Nippon Shaft. “We congratulate him on his great day at The Masters and on the terrific year he is having.”
Two other players who used Nippon Shaft products in their irons made the cut at The Masters and finished tied for 27th and tied for 40th, respectively. At 27th was the big Fijian and former Masters champion, who used the Nippon Shaft N.S. PRO MODUS3 Tour 120 shafts in his irons.
Nippon Shaft products are available either as stock or custom shafts in many of the world’s top iron brands.
In addition, Nippon Shaft products are available through Shaftology - Nippon Shaft’s dedicated clubfitter network – and through the custom club departments of top club manufacturers.
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 growing in popularity with tour pros because they offer optimal performance in the three key areas:
1. Desired trajectory, which comes as a result of the unique shaft structure;
2. Accurate distances, thanks to the shaft’s unique raw steel material and accompanying heat treatment;
3. 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 lightweight. Soon, Nippon Shaft grew to be the No. 1-selling shaft in Asia, controlling 80 percent of the market, and No. 2 worldwide. 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.
Nippon Shaft has more than 160 professional victories worldwide. Based in Yokohama, Japan, Nippon Shaft is the No. 1-selling steel shaft in Asia, where it controls 80 percent of the golf shaft market.
Nippon Shaft is a privately-held subsidiary of NHK Spring Co. LTD, a Japanese automobile parts manufacturer. Nippon Shaft's North American headquarters is in San Diego.