Rob Labritz Wins the 2008 New York State OpenTitleists Leadership Advisory Staff Member Prevails at Bethpage Black.
Fairhaven, MA (September 25, 2008) - Titleist would like to salute Rob Labritz, Director of Golf at Glen Arbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, NY for his victory this year at the New York State Open, the top-ranked State Open in the country. Rob, a member of Titleist's Leadership Advisory staff, captured the title at the renowned Black Course at Bethpage State Park on Long Island. In 2002 the Black Course was the first municipal course to host the U.S. Open Championship. It's a demanding Par 70 layout that measures a daunting 7,300 yards (in the 2002 U.S Open it was stretched to a par-70, 7,490-yard layout). Bethpage puts a premium on driving and solid ball-striking. The Black Course will serve as host again for the U.S. Open in 2009.
Back in 2005 Rob entered the final round of the New York State Open with a three-shot lead. A double-bogey down the stretch cost him the title. The loss was naturally disappointing but, as is his nature, Rob remained positive and grew as a player from the experience. In this year's State Open, after opening rounds of 71 and 69 Rob found himself in an eerily similar situation, holding a two-shot lead heading into the third and deciding round. He started the final 18 well, shooting 1-over on the front 9. But as he made the turn, his right leg began to cramp. He bogeyed 10, 12 and 14 and his lead began to shrink. However, instead of allowing doubt to creep in, Rob drew from his 2005 Open experience and consciously took a moment to regroup. Rob explained, "As you're coming down to the wire and the adrenaline starts pumping, I think it's very easy to start speeding everything up. I know it is for me. And with my leg situation, it would have been very easy for me to start thinking 'Just get into the house'. But that would have been a huge mistake. You have to focus on the shot at hand. You start to make mistakes when you try to rush through and get to the finish line. You have to keep the finish line out of your head."
Rob with the Mark Grossinger Etess Trophy
Recommitting to his process of executing shots and not worrying about the results, Rob steadied himself and made par on 15 and a clutch up and down from a tricky side hill lie on 16. On 17, a 220-yard par-3, Rob hit the shot of the day, a 4-iron to 5 feet. Though his birdie putt slid by the edge, he carried a two-shot lead into the final hole. He hit a solid 3-wood off the tee on 18, a safe approach to the green and then lagged to 5 feet. He admits that he was nervous over the par putt, "I was definitely shaking," Rob said. "But I just reminded myself that I've had 8 million five-footers in my life. And I've made 7 million of them, so the odds are in my favor. Just go through the routine and put a good stroke on it." His Pro V1x responded,
rolling true and falling into the cup. Rob had won the New York State Open by two strokes, with a 5-over 215 total.
His whole career, Rob has trusted his game to Titleist. In addition to his playing prowess, Rob is a respected teacher of the game. "I have every confidence in outfitting my students and members with Titleist equipment for two reasons. First, I play Titleist equipment myself and I know that Titleist golf balls, clubs - even Titleist golf gloves are the highest quality and best-performing products in the game. Second, I believe that fitting golfers properly is crucial, and Titleist leads the way when it comes to club-fitting. The SureFit system that we use at Glen Arbor gives us so many options and is so precise - we're able to put clubs into players' hands that truly help them to reach their full potential."
What's In Rob's Bag?
Pro V1x golf ball (I mark my Titleist like this because I am just so happy out on the golf course that I want my ball to be the same!!! It reminds me to always enjoy playing because there is no better time than on the golf course!!)
907D1 driver ("The straightest driver I have ever hit!")
904F fairway metal
585.H utility metal
AP2 irons (3-P)
Vokey Design sand wedge
Vokey Spin Milled prototype "v-grind" lob wedge
Congratulations on your victory at the New York State Open, Rob, from all your friends at Titleist. Thank you for your faithful support and for representing us so honorably.
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