The WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship is underway and earlier this week Team Titleist went inside the ropes at TPC Harding Park to get a closer look at some of the key holes that players will be facing as they battle for the Walter Hagen Cup. 

Named in honor of U.S. President and avid golfer Warren G. Harding, TPC Harding Park is a municipal golf course owned by the city and county of San Francisco. The par-72, 7,169-yard layout, which opened in 1925, was designed by Willie Watson, who also designed Harding Park's neighbor across Lake Merced, The Olympic Club. 

With match play in mind, the Tour has added a wrinkle this week, re-routing several holes. Matches may now hinge on some of the more demanding and strategically interesting holes at Harding Park. With one of the strongest fields in golf, a renowned golf course and the drama of head-to-head competition, spectators and fans are in for an exciting week of championship golf.

And this week at the limited-field WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship, Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball of choice with 36 players in the field trusting a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That's more than 5 times the nearest competitor with 7 and more than all competitors combined.

Take a look at the slideshow above for some great views of TPC Harding Park, as well as some insight into the way that players will attack the unique challenges it presents.

#TeamTitleist

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When it comes to Match Play, there are not many present day golfers that have had more success than Titleist Brand Ambassador Ian Poulter. And as we enter this week's WGC-Cadillac Match Play and its all-new format, Poulter is among the field favorites at TPC Harding Park.

Ranked No. 27 in the field based on the Official World Golf Ranking, Poulter was placed in Group No. 11, or what has been tabbed the "group of death" in World Cup soccer terms. In other words, the strongest group from which to emerge victorious. There is a legitimate reason for the moniker, as Poulter is joined by fellow Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jimmy Walker (11) and Webb Simpson (46).

"Yeah, it seems to be an exciting group," said Poulter. "There are some great players and there is no easy match. It's going to be a good week. You've got the 64th best player in the world who can beat No. 1. We've seen it in the past, numerous times, but obviously the new format is going to change things slightly. So even if that happens you've still got a chance to get out of your group."

This will be the 12th time Poulter has participated in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play, fashioning a 22-12 record dating back to 2004. He won the title in 2010 when he posted a 5 and 4 victory in the championship match. He reached the semifinal in 2005 and again two years ago in 2013, finishing fourth overall both times. In addition to his winning performances at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play events, Poulter is best known for his fiery, swashbuckling style and success as a member of the European Ryder Cup teams, where he owns a .722 (12-4-2) winning percentage, the best of any player with more than 10 matches played.  

So what makes a good match play player?

"Someone who is gutsy, stubborn, ruthless and bulldogish," said Poulter, who also added "that's most of the players in this field. We all have a passion, but some have a deeper passion than others, I guess. And the ruthlessness in there, the will to hang in. Sometimes when people say things aren't possible, it makes you dig even harder. I've certainly had that through my career at certain times and that's where I pull from within to be a tough character."

Poulter will open up against Simpson on Wednesday in his quest for a second title. 

NEW MATCH PLAY FORMAT:
Adding a new twist to the event, the International Federation of PGA Tours has moved away from the one-and-done format. There will be three days of round-robin play, so even if you lose Wednesday and/or Thursday, every player will still be teeing it up on Friday.

1. THE FIELD: It’s still 64 players, as it always has been, but instead of four 16-man brackets, think of it as 16 four-man groups. Players will have one match against each of the three other players in their group, so after Friday, there will be 16 group winners.

2. DECIDING TIES: If two players are tied for best record in their group, the head-to-head result between them will serve as the tiebreaker. If three players are tied, there will be a playoff between them.

3. GROUP PROCESS: Each of the top 16 players in the Official World Golf Ranking head a group. The other 48 players were divided into three categories (Nos. 17-32, 33-48, 49-64) and placed into their groups by a random draw.  

4. ORDER OF PLAY: Once the four names are chosen for each of the 16 groups, when play commences Wednesday, A plays D, B plays C. Thursday, it will be A vs. C and B vs. D. That will leave A vs. B and C vs. D on Friday.

5. THE ROUND OF 16: By Saturday, when the field is down to just 16 names, traditional match play takes over - once you lose, you’re eliminated. Group 1 winner plays Group 16 winner, Group 2 winner plays Group 15 winner, etc.

6. THE ROUND OF 8: Saturday afternoon the eight winners from the morning will square off in four quarter-final matches.

7. SUNDAY FINALE: Will feature two semi-final matches in the morning, and the championship match in the afternoon.

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Not many players can claim to be undefeated at a Worldwide Tour event, but Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Lee Westwood earned those rare bragging rights this weekend, capturing the Asian Tour’s Niaga Indonesian Masters in his third straight appearance at the event.

Westwood, who won back-to-back Indonesian Masters titles in 2011 and 2012 (his first two appearances at Royal Jakarta Golf Club), made a birdie on the first hole of a playoff on Sunday to capture his third crown.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Westwood said in his post-round press conference. “As soon as I turned up five years ago, I liked the course and thought it might suit my game. It’s nice to have come here three times and won three times. It’s a good hat-trick.”

The win marks the 42nd career win for Westwood across the worldwide professional tours, including nine on the Asian Tour – all with a Titleist golf ball.

“I’ve always wanted to be a golfer that plays all over the world and I started winning on different continents very early in my career," said Westwood.

"It’s something I’m immensely proud of and [winning in] 19 different countries is incredible.”

Pro V1x loyalist Kalem Richardson finished alone in third, one shot shy of joining the playoff.

Congratulations, Lee!

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WORLDWIDE PROFESSIONAL TOURS:

 PGA TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Cameron Tringale (Pro V1x, 915D4 driver/9.5º, 915F fairway metal/13.5º, 913H hybrid/17º, CB 714 3-4 irons, MB 714 5-9 irons, Vokey Design Spin Milled pitching/48º, TVD sand/56º and lob/60º wedges, Scotty Cameron GSS putter) earned his best career finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, finishing solo 2nd at 21-under par 207.

Titleist golf balls were the top choice in golf balls at TPC Louisiana, with 103 players in the field of 156 relying on a Pro V1 or Pro V1x, more than five times the nearest competitor with 20.

Titleist Vokey Design wedges also led the field in approach, sand and lob wedges (164) and Scotty Cameron putters (55) were the top choice of players in the field.

 SOUTH AFRCIAN TOUR : Pro V1x golf ball loyalist Ross McGowan recorded his first career victory on the Sunshine Tour with a two-shot win at the Mopani/Redpath Zambia Open.

McGowan closed with a 5-under par 67 en route to a 13-under-par 275 victory total.

Titleist Brand Ambassadors Danie van Tonder (Pro V1x, 915D3 driver, 915F fairway metal, CB 714 irons, Vokey Design SM5 wedges), Colin Nel (New Pro V1x, 915D3 driver, 915F fairway metal, MB 714 irons, Vokey Design SM5 wedges) and Chris Swanepoel (Pro V1x, 915D3 driver, 913Fd fairway metal, MB 714 irons, Vokey Design SM5 wedges, Scotty Cameron GoLo putter) finished 2nd, 4th and T5 respectively, as four of the top five finishers trusted Titleist golf balls for their success.

KOREAN TOUR:  The winner of the Dongbu Promy Insurance Open trusted a Pro V1x golf ball to earn his third career win with a par on the second hole of an all-Titleist sudden death playoff, topping fellow Pro V1x golf ball loyalist Hyo-Won Park.

Both players finished regulation on 7-under par 281. Nine players who finished among the Top 10 on the leaderboard relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.

 TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS:

In total, 6,515 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2015 worldwide professional tours, more than six times the nearest competitor with 1,008 and more than all competitors combined.

With three more wins this week, Titleist’s 2015 victory count advances to 42. That's three times the nearest competitor with 14 and more than all competitors combined.

THE TITLEIST LEADERBOARD  |  WEEK ENDING APRIL 26, 2015

TourEventTitleist Golf Ball PlayersNearest Competitor
PGA TOUR Zurich Classic of New Orleans 103 20
EUROPEAN/ONEASIA TOUR Volvo China Open 102 23
LPGA TOUR Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic 103 8
CHAMPIONS TOUR Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf 41 8
ASIAN TOUR CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters 92 25
SOUTH AFRICAN TOUR Zambia Open 114 18
KOREAN TOUR Dongbu Promy Insurance Open 114 13

 

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