Titleist Brand Ambassador Ben Martin arrived at the scenic Sea Island Golf Club practice facility on Tuesday morning, receiving congratulations from his peers following his first career PGA Tour victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday. The quiet Clemson graduate shyly accepted the accolades and went about his business between the constant interruptions. Martin played the final four holes in 4-under par to ultimately win by two shots. When he was asked by Team Titleist what he felt his shot of the day was, he - and his caddie Alex who was also present - could not limit it to just one.

His winning stretch began on the 341 yard 15th hole which he drove to the middle of the green and two-putted for birdie. "That was probably my best drive of the week given the circumstances at the time. I had pulled a couple of drives previously and that is not a hole you want to be left."  He birdied the 15th hole four times en route to his 20-under par 264 victory total.

He followed his birdie with an eagle on the 560-yard par 5 16th hole. Following a  312-yard drive down the middle of the fairway, Martin never wavered about hitting "a smooth 6-iron over the water to the middle of the green. We had 190 yards to the front and about 200 to the pin which was a perfect yardage for that club." The ball landed 46 feet from the pin which he converted for his second eagle of the week (he also eagled the 16th in Round 1).

The tee shot on the par 3 196 yard 17th was also critical, as the green is guarded by water on the left. "We just wanted to play it to the middle right of the green and that's what we did." Martin left his shot 48 feet from the pin for a simple two-putt par.

Martin completed his first victory in style, splitting the fairway on the 444-yard par 4 with a 297-yard drive. He left his approach shot 19 feet from the hole which he "calmly" converted for birdie and a two-shot victory. "It may not have shown on the outside, but my heart was pounding. It was something I have worked for all my life and I just wanted to finish strong." 

Strong, indeed.

LEADERBOARD WATCHING?

Anybody who watched the broadcast of Martin's performance on Sunday heard the announcers discussing at length the comment Ben made on Saturday about not watching the leaderboard during competition, even if he was in the lead. Team Titleist asked Martin about his philosophy and if he actually took a peek during the day.

"I really didn't.  When you are out there in the heat of the competition, you can feel things that are going on around you." 

With his caddie, Alex, by his side, Team Titleist asked him if he ever said anything. 

"Absolutely not," said Alex, which is when Ben chimed in and said, "I asked him on the 18th fairway if I need to do anything special."  Alex's response, "Hit the green and two-putt." Martin did one better.

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Jay Haas capped off a memorable weekend as he claimed his 17th career Champions Tour victory two days after his son, Titleist Brand Ambassador Bill Haas, joined him in the Wake Forest Hall of Fame. 

The win, Jay's third victory at this event, included a first round 63, giving him a lead he would not relinquish. Jay's 17-under-par total was the product of impressive ball striking, where he was second in driving accuracy (93%) and fourth in GIR (87%). 

Let's take a closer look at the equipment Jay used this week. 

Congratulations, Jay!

#TeamTitleist

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The development path for the new Titleist 915 family of metals started in Carlsbad, Ca. where our team of golf club experts spent countless hours, days and months conceptualizing, prototyping and refining new ways to deliver distance without compromise for all serious golfers.

And before any Titleist golf club is introduced to the market, it has to pass a critical checkpoint – the player validation process on the PGA Tour.

“If you want to make the best product in the world, you’ve got to prove yourself with the best players in the world,” said Chris McGinley, vice president of Titleist golf club marketing.

Earlier this year we hopped on the Titleist Tour Support Van to join the team as they made the final drive to Congressional Country Club for the start of the new 915D2 and 915D3 tour seeding and player validation process. As the initial excitement for this introduction continued to build from a whisper to a roar on tour, we knew we had to go along for the ride.

Now we’re bringing this experience to you with this insider’s view of the tour launch.

Enjoy!

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