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Tour Rookie Tops World-Class Field to Capture British Open

July 21, 2003 (Fairhaven, MA) - A boyhood dream came true at the 132nd British Open when Ben Curtis became the first player in 90 years to win his first major championship in his first major start. Topping a world-class field at one of the toughest tests in golf, Curtis made history when he achieved what Francis Ouimet was the last to do at the 1913 U.S. Open. Building upon a stellar amateur career as a two-time Ohio Amateur champion and three-time NCAA All-American, Curtis took his game to the highest level of competitive golf with the same brand he trusted to get there. Titleist - from tee to green.

Under difficult, windy conditions and slick greens at Royal St. George's, Curtis relied upon the Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist golf clubs for his success. From the Titleist Titanium 983K driver and Pro Trajectory 980F 3-wood, to DCI irons, Vokey Design pitching, sand and lob wedges and a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter, all 14 clubs in Curtis' bag were branded Titleist.

Since the official equipment counts began at The Open Championship in 1980, Titleist has been the #1 golf ball year in and year out - 24 consecutive events. And this year was no different, as 85 players trusted their games to Titleist, more than all other golf balls combined. In fact, of the 14 players who finished among the top 10 and ties, nine relied upon Titleist for their success at the year's third major. Following Curtis (Pro V1x), were Vijay Singh (T2/Pro V1x), Davis Love III (T4/Pro V1x), Fredrik Jacobson (T6/Pro V1x), Kenny Perry (T8/Pro V1x), Retief Goosen (T10/Pro V1x), Hennie Otto (T10/Pro V1x) and two additional players who tied for 10th, one of whom played the New Pro V1 and one who played the Pro V1x.

Ben Curtis jumped from No. 396 to No. 35 in the World Ranking following his British Open victory, making his 361-position improvement the single biggest leap into the World Top-50 since the Official World Golf Ranking started in March 1986. Of the top 35 players on the list, Curtis is among the 22 who rely upon Titleist golf balls. In fact, 8 of the top 10 players in the World Ranking trust Titleist including: No. 2 Ernie Els (Pro V1x), No. 3 Vijay Singh (Pro V1x), No. 4 Mike Weir (New Pro V1), No. 5 Davis Love III (Pro V1x), No. 7 David Toms (Pro V1x), No. 8 Kenny Perry (Pro V1x), the No. 9 player (Pro V1x) and No. 10 Phil Mickelson (Pro V1x).

Curtis, who becomes the fourth first-time winner on the 2003 PGA TOUR, has something in common with the other three, they all play Titleist golf balls. Curtis joins Ben Crane (BellSouth Classic/Pro V1x), Steve Flesch (HP Classic of New Orleans/New Pro V1) and Jonathan Kaye (Buick Classic/Pro V1x) as the four players who have made it to the PGA Tour winner's circle for the first time in their career this year.

In addition to Ben Curtis' heroics, Titleist Pro V1 players were winning on the LPGA and Nationwide Tours. Like Curtis, Hee-Won Han became a first-time winner on the LPGA Tour, capturing the Sybase Big Apple Classic by two strokes. Han becomes the third first-time winner on the LPGA Tour in the last four weeks, joining fellow New Pro V1 loyalists Angela Stanford (ShopRite Classic) and major champion Hilary Lunke (U.S. Open) in the winner's circle. Han's victory is the 8th for Titleist on 2003 LPGA Tour. On the Nationwide Tour, Mark Hensby birdied the first playoff hole at the Henrico County Open to defeat Titleist Pro V1x player Zach Johnson. Hensby, who relies upon the New Pro V1, fired a final round 9-under par 63 to reach the playoff, while Johnson posted a final round 7-under par 65 to join the extra session. Hensby's victory marks the 12th for Titleist on the Nationwide Tour this season, including six straight. Three more victories this week increase Titleist's worldwide win count in 2003 to 83, more than three times the nearest competitor with 25.

To view an exclusive post-tournament interview with British Open winner Ben Curtis, please visit our Direct from the Tour feature online. Please direct any other questions or requests to Joe Gomes, Director of Communications at 508.979.3211.

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