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Posted: January 20, 2015
Titleist Brand Ambassador Gary Stal staged a Sunday charge at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and climbed to the top of the leaderboard to secure his first career European Tour title. Stal, who started the final round eight shots off the lead, fired a bogey-free, 7-under par 65 to complete a 19-under par 269 victory total.
As for how Stal felt about the dramatic win, he summed it up nicely in just four words...
"It's unbelievable to win."
Let's take a closer look at Stal's winning setup from this past week.
WHAT'S IN GARY STAL'S BAG
Golf Ball: New Titleist Pro V1x golf ballDriver: Titleist 915D2 (8.5º) driverFairway: Titleist 915F (13.5º) fairway metalHybrid: Titleist 915Hd (17.5º) hybridUtility Iron: Titleist 712U 3-ironIrons: Titleist MB 714 (4-P) ironsWedges: Vokey Design SM5 sand (52.08) and lob (58.08) wedges
Posted: January 19, 2015
It was an impressive title defense for Titleist Brand Ambassador Jimmy Walker this past weekend at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Walker's solid play throughout the week was capped off by a bogey-free final round 7-under-par 63 that helped him pull away from the field and secure his fourth career PGA Tour title.
Let's take a closer look at Walker's winning setup from this past week.
WHAT'S IN JIMMY WALKER'S BAG
Golf Ball: New Titleist Pro V1x golf ballDriver: Titleist 915D2 driver (9.5º) w/Aldila Rogue Tour X shaftFairway: Titleist 915F fairway metal (15º) w/Aldila Rogue Tour X shaftFairway: Titleist 915F fairway metal (18º) w/Fujikura Motore VC8.2 Tour shaftUtility Iron: Titleist 712U 3-iron w/True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaftIrons: Titleist MB 714 irons (4-9) w/True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaftsWedges: Vokey Design SM4 pitching wedge (48º), SM5 sand (54º) and lob (60º) wedges w/True Temper Dynamic Golf X100 shaftsPutter: Scotty Cameron Newport2 GSS
Titleist Brand Ambassador Jimmy Walker captured his second consecutive Sony Open title on Sunday. After rallying to win by one shot last year, Walker won in convincing fashion this time around, firing an 8-under 62 on Saturday and a 7-under 63 on Sunday to finish with a 23-under par 257 victory total, a tournament record-breaking nine shots clear of his nearest competitor.
All one has to do is look at the major statistical categories from The Sony to understand how Walker ran away from the field this week. Trusting the New Pro V1x golf ball and Titleist equipment from tee-through-green, Walker ranked first in Birdies (29), Greens in Regulation (82%), Strokes Gained Putting (2.571) and Putts Per Greens in Regulation (1.576). He also ranked 8th in Driving Distance (308.9) and T13th in Driving Accuracy (62.5%).
“Just keep the pedal down," Walker said when asked about his thoughts heading into the final round. "That was kind of the mindset, to be smart, be aggressive, make good shots and get some putts to go in. And that's kind of what ended up happening.”
Fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Piercy posted a final round 66 to finish alone in second. Three Titleist Brand Ambassadors – Zac Blair, Max Homa, and Justin Thomas – all rookies on the PGA TOUR, were among seven players who tied for 6th place by finishing at 12-under 268. All three players rely upon the Titleist Pro V1x golf ball and full bags of Titleist equipment from tee-through-green. In fact, Homa was playing the New Pro V1x golf ball for the first time in competition this week and all three players trust the new 915 driver off the tee.
Walker’s closing 63 was bogey-free with all seven of his birdies coming over the final 11 holes. The victory is the fourth of his PGA TOUR career, with his first three all coming during last season’s 2013-14 campaign. The win vaults him to the top of the season-long FedExCup points race, just ahead of fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Streb.
Congratulations on defending your title in style, Jimmy!
WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WORLDWIDE PROFESSIONAL TOURS:
On the European Tour Titleist Brand Ambassador Gary Stal rallied from an eight shot overnight deficit to claim his first career European Tour title by one at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Stal, who trailed by as many as 10 shots early on Sunday, closed with a bogey-free, 7-under par 65 for a 19-under par 269 victory total. A two-time winner on the Challenge Tour, the 22-year old Frenchman topped his previous best European Tour finish established at last week’s South African Open (T5).
TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS:
In total, 936 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2015 worldwide professional tours, more than five times the nearest competitor with 187 and more than all competitors combined.
With two wins this week, Titleist’s victory count in the young 2015 season advances to 8. That's double the nearest competitor with 4 and more than all competitors combined.
THE TITLEIST LEADERBOARD | WEEK ENDING January 18, 2015
Posted: January 15, 2015
The Aloha Swing continues as the PGA Tour travels to the island of Oahu for the Sony Open in Honolulu. The first full-field event of 2015 will be contested on the 7,068-yard Waialae Country Club, a beautiful ocean-side course that is known for strong winds, tight fairways and small greens - a perfect recipe for a challenging day at the office for the players in the field.
And if players want to keep pace with the top of the leaderboard, they’ll need to have their games dialed in from tee to green. Just ask defending champion and Titleist Brand Ambassador Jimmy Walker.
"I'm swinging the club well, which is important here. You need to hit solid shots into these small greens if you expect to score," said Walker.
Titleist Pro V1x Loyalist Luke Donald also understands this a great course for golfers who like to work the ball.
"This is a course I've always enjoyed playing. I think it's one of the better ones for the guys that like to position their golf ball. It's not a course you have to overpower. It's very much a strategy golf course," said Donald.
Check out the slideshow above for some inside the ropes shots from earlier in the week.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2015 SONY OPEN
This week at the Sony Open, Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball of choice with 90 players in the field trusting a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That's more than four times the nearest competitor with 16.
Titleist was also the top choice in the approach, sand and lob wedge (123) category.
Posted: January 14, 2015
When it comes to knowing the keys to success at Waialae Country Club, home of the Sony Open in Hawaii, not many of this week’s participants can provide more insight than defending champion and Titleist Brand Ambassador Jimmy Walker.
Last year, Jimmy fired a bogey-free 7-under-par 63 in his final round to cap off a 17-under-par 263 victory total - marking the second of his three wins last season. And to put an exclamation point on the win, Walker mounted a closing charge that featured four birdies over the final five holes to secure the title.
Even though he is one of the longest drivers on the PGA TOUR, Walker placed putting and proximity to hole as his top keys for success at this event when Team Titleist caught up with him in Honolulu.
“My strategy on this course has always been to hit the ball as far as I can down the fairway to give me the best chance of getting my approach shot as close to the hole as possible,” said Walker. “The player who is among the best in putting for the week will be in the hunt on Sunday, and having more short putts will help accomplish that.”
Walker, who has played this event every year since 2008, has shot in the 60’s in 17 of his last 19 rounds, including each of the last nine. In addition to his win last year, he finished solo 4th in 2011. Walker is coming off a 2nd place finish at last week’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
“The Plantation Course had wide fairways, a lot of undulation, and shifting winds,” said Walker, who has no intention of changing his game plan despite the tighter layout and doglegs. “It sounds cliché, but I really do just take it one shot at a time. For me, that means having the confidence to hit driver as accurately and as far as I can off the tee, so I have the shortest club hitting the ball into the green. That gives me the best chance to get close to the hole and make more birdies. I putted well in the win last year and I felt I putted well last week, so I am looking forward to contending once again.”
EQUIPMENT NOTES AND QUOTES FROM JIMMY WALKER
FOUR ROUNDS, FOUR GOLF BALLS: Jimmy Walker played a new Titleist Pro V1x prototype golf ball in competition for the first time at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, finishing 2nd. When asked if he played the golf ball all four rounds after switching from the previous generation Pro V1, Walker said: “Not only did I play it all four rounds, I only played four balls. One each day. I loved the performance. It has the perfect ball flight that I am seeking – nice and tight off the driver, fairways and long irons and very controllable off the wedges. In fact, I put some new Vokey Design SM5 wedges in the bag last week, and I kept looking at my ball to see if it needed to be switched out, but it never did. The ball has great feel and is extremely durable. The best I’ve ever played.”
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Like many other Scotty Cameron putter enthusiasts, Jimmy Walker had one of his favorite putters restored to its original state with a twist, and it is now back in the bag as his gamer. In October, Walker sent an 11-year old Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS putter that he won twice with and topped the money list on the 2004 Nationwide Tour, to the Scotty Cameron Custom Shop to be refurbished. In addition to having it restored and refurbished to its original condition, he had tungsten added to the sole to give the putter some additional weight.
“I had won a couple of times with the putter in 2004, but switched to a little heavier putter as my stroke changed over the years and kind of put that one away for a while. I’ve always loved the look of it and asked (Cameron Putter Rep) Kelley Moser to see what could be done to restore it, but also get it to a similar weight to the Scotty I was currently using. I got it back last month and put it back in the bag as soon as I saw it. I have total confidence in it and don’t foresee taking it out any time soon.”