ERNIE ELS DEFENDS SONY OPEN CROWN IN PLAYOFF.Els Trusts Titleist Tee-to-Green in Victory. Top Seven Finishers Rely Upon Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x Golf Balls.
Ernie Els, winner of the 2004 SONY Open.
Fairhaven, MA (January 20, 2003) - It was deja vu all over again for Titleist brand ambassador Ernie Els at the Sony Open in Hawaii, the PGA Tour's first full-field event of the season. Els, who captured last year's tournament on the second hole of a playoff, defended his crown by topping fellow Pro V1x golf ball player player Harrison Frazar on the third extra hole. Following a stellar 2003 in which he registered more worldwide victories than any other player with 7, Els' tee-to-green trust in Titleist continues to be rewarded in 2004. The win marked the 13th of Els' illustrious PGA Tour career and his 48th as a professional.
In addition to the Pro V1x, Els' equipment includes the Titleist Titanium 983K driver (8.5), Pro Trajectory 980F Strong 3-wood (15.0), Forged 690.MB irons (3-PW), Titleist prototype 2-iron, Vokey Design sand (54) and lob (59) wedges and a Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 Studio Stainless putter.
Els and Frazar each fired 18-under par 262 through 72 holes, three strokes ahead of Davis Love III. Els, who trailed Frazar by one shot heading into Sunday, fired a final round 5-under par 65 to reach the playoff. Titleist players at the first full-field event of the season set the pace for another strong year as 10 of the 14 players who finished among the top 10 and ties played Titleist, including each of the top 7:
|ERNIE ELS||CHAMPION*||PRO V1x|
|HARRISON FRAZAR||2nd*||PRO V1x|
|DAVIS LOVE III||3rd||PRO V1x|
|FRANK LICKLITER||4th||PRO V1|
|BRINY BAIRD||T5th||PRO V1x|
|JERRY KELLY||T5th||PRO V1x|
|JOHN RIEGGER||7th||PRO V1x|
|CRAIG BARLOW||T8th||PRO V1x|
|VIJAY SINGH||T10th||PRO V1x|
|RETIEF GOOSEN||T10th||PRO V1x|
* - Playoff participant
SONY Open playoff participant Harrison Frazar.
ADDITIONAL TITLEIST HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEEK ENDING JAN. 19, 2004
#1 GOLF BALL AT THE SONY OPEN: Titleist was the number one golf ball choice among players in the Sony Open in Hawaii field with 2 out of every 3 players relying upon the Pro V1 or Pro V1x. A total of 96 players, or 67 percent of the 144-player field trusted Titleist, compared to 22 for the nearest competitor.
FAST STARTS: Titleist ambassador Davis Love III (T9th, 3rd) and Pro V1x players Vijay Singh (2nd, T10th) and Retief Goosen (T4th, T10th) are off to fast starts as the only three players to post back to back top 10s at the season-opening Mercedes Championships and Sony Open in Hawaii, respectively.
Titleist ambassador Davis Love III has posted two Top 10 finishes to start the season.
WORLD CLASS: Titleist golf ball loyalists make up 8 of the top 10 positions in the Official World Golf Rankings, including: No. 2 Vijay Singh (Pro V1x), No. 3 Ernie Els (Pro V1x), No. 4 Davis Love III (Pro V1x), No. 6 Mike Weir (Pro V1), No. 7 Retief Goosen (Pro V1x), No. 8 David Toms (Pro V1x), No. 9 Kenny Perry (Pro V1x) and No. 10 Player (Pro V1x). Weir looks to defend his Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Championship this week.
ON THE BALL: Australia's Terry Price shot an even-par 70 in the final round to win the New Zealand Open by one stroke. Price, a Pro V1x player, finished the event at 9-under-par 271. With victories by Els and Price this week, Titleist has three victories across the 2004 worldwide professional tours.
CLUB TITLEIST: While Ernie Els was finding early-season success with his Titleist equipment at the Sony Open, the third and fourth place finishers, Davis Love III and Frank Lickliter, also featured a full complement of 14 Titleist golf clubs in their bags. Both players relied upon Titleist Titanium 983E drivers, Titleist Pro Trajectory 3-woods, Titleist Forged irons, Vokey Design wedges and Scotty Cameron by Titleist putters. Lickliter, matched the course record at Waialae Country Club as well as his career-low with an 8-under par 62 in the second round.
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