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Posted: September 15, 2014
Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas earned his first career Web.com Tour title with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden death playoff at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. With the win, Justin jumped from 5th to 3rd place on the Web.com Tour finals priority list with one event left, next week's Web.com Tour Championship.
Thomas became the first player to win on the Web.com Tour with Titleist's new 915 prototype driver.
He also made a crucial putting change. After struggling on the greens after the first round of last week's Chiquita Classic, Justin decided to call on an old friend, going back to the Scotty Cameron Newport prototype putter that he had used throughout his college career at the University of Alabama.
Playing in demanding conditions at Ohio State University's Scarlet Course, Justin regained his form and gave credit to his gamer after the breakthrough win.
“She earned her keep,” Thomas said. “I made a lot of those knee-knockers. These greens are so tough. There were a lot of times where you couldn’t get it close. That 3-to-6-foot range where they’re pretty tough, I felt like I made a pretty good amount of those.”
Let's take a look inside Justin's bag to get a closer look at all the Titleist equipment he used to claim victory.
Golf Ball: Pro V1xDriver: Titleist 915D3 Prototype Driver (8.5º) with Diamana White Board 72 (S) shaft and SureFit Tour Hosel Setting B•2Fairway Wood: Titleist 915 F.d Prototype Fairway Wood (15º) with Aldila Tour Green 85 (X) shaftHybrid: Titleist 913 HD (18º) with Dynamic Gold X100 shaftIrons: Titleist MB irons (4-PW) with Dynamic Gold X100 shaftsWedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled SM5 52.12, 56.14 and 60.08 with Dynamic Gold S400 shaftsPutter: Scotty Cameron Newport Beach Prototype
Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Billy Horschel claimed golf’s largest prize following a three-shot win at the season-ending TOUR Championship, leaving no doubt as to who is currently the hottest golfer in the game.
With his second playoff win in as many weeks, Horschel claimed the FedExCup trophy and the $10 million bonus that goes to the winner of the PGA Tour's season-long race.
It was an historic stretch of golf for Horschel, who closed the playoffs shooting 12 straight rounds in the 60's. At 27, he becomes the youngest player ever to the win the FedExCup.
"I'm on cloud nine," Horschel said following the victory. "It's unbelievable. I kept believing, everyone on my team kept believing in me and just kept my head up high. I'm a positive guy, I always see things glass half full, and it turned out for the best, and I can't be more thrilled. To cap it off like this has been pretty unbelievable."
Horschel shot 2-under 68 in the final round, displaying commanding control over his golf ball tee-to-green and a deft touch on East Lake's putting surfaces. Also evident was a renewed confidence and focused mental approach that paid huge dividends when he needed it the most.
"I knew my game was in the right shape," Horschel said. "I just needed to get out of my own way, needed to allow my golf game to show, and did it show the last three weeks.
"The Playoffs are the biggest, besides the majors, are the four biggest events we have on the PGA Tour and that's when the light shines the brightest. And it just gives me so much confidence, so much thrill to accomplish something like this, especially with the guys I was going up against."
Including Billy Horschel, 19 players in the elite 29-man field at the TOUR Championship relied on a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success in the FedExCup playoffs, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 4 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist golf ball loyalists won 26 PGA Tour events this season (compared to 7 for the nearest competitor), including all four FedExCup Playoff events.
WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WORLDWIDE PROFESSIONAL TOURS
Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas earned his first-career Web.com Tour title on Sunday, capturing the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. Thomas, who relied on a Pro V1x golf ball and a full complement of Titleist golf clubs – including a new prototype Titleist 915D3 driver and prototype 915Fd fairway metal – hit a Vokey Design SM5 lob wedge from 79 yards to 2 feet, setting up a birdie on the par-4 18th that sent the action to extra holes.
On the Australasian Tour, Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Stephens trusted his Pro V1 golf ball and a full complement of Titleist clubs to record a five-stroke victory in the South Pacific Open Championship. Stephens, who finished with a 15-under par 269 victory total, vaulted to the lead following a second round 7-under-par 64 and never relinquished the top position.
In Taipei, Pro V1x loyalist Prom Meesawat rallied to capture the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship with a par on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Nicknamed "The Big Dolphin," Meeswat birdied the last hole of regulation for a final round 3-under-par 69 en route to his second career Asian Tour crown.
And to round out the week's success, in China, Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalist David McKenzie closed with a 3-under par 69, posting a 16-under 272 total that was good for a 2-stroke margin of victory at the Cadillac Championship in Beijing. The win marks the second title of McKenzie's PGA Tour China Series career.
TEAM TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS
With another four wins this week, Titleist’s year-to-date victory count advances to 132. That's more than four times the nearest competitor with 30 and more than all competitors combined.
In total, 18,559 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2014 worldwide professional tours, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 3,101 and more than all competitors combined.
THE TITLEIST LEADERBOARD | WEEK ENDING September 14, 2014
Posted: September 13, 2014
Titleist Staff Professional James Sieckmann is back with another tip to help us take our short game to the next level. Today’s focus – the long bunker shot.
A few keys and suggestions from James for the next time you’re faced with this shot:
>> Take a stronger lofted club, like your pitching wedge, for a little added forgiveness
>> Lower your hands at address to help add effective loft
>> And make a smooth swing through the sand
Give this a try and be sure to click on the image below for even more great tips and advice for your game.
Posted: September 12, 2014
It has been another exciting year on the PGA Tour and the 2013-2014 journey culminates this weekend at East Lake Golf Club where the top 29 players in the FedExCup rankings have gathered for the season finale – The TOUR Championship.
With an $8 million purse, a $1.44 million winner’s share and a $10 million bonus for the FedExCup Champion on the line, players will need to remain focused and keep their nerves in check as they take on the Donald Ross layout.
"I'm looking at it like we are just at a golf tournament...and let the other stuff play out on Sunday afternoon," said Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Bubba Watson.
And for others like Pro V1x loyalist and last week’s winner at the 2014 BMW Championship Billy Horschel it’s about embracing the nerves and having a game plan in place.
"I always get nervous, I always have butterflies before a round of golf. I think the majority of the guys out here do...Personally, I prepare for a round of golf mentally, I try to control my breathing and calm down".
No matter the strategy or approach, we’re looking forward to another exciting finish at the TOUR Championship.
BY THE NUMBERS: 2014 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
This week at the TOUR Championship, Titleist is the top golf ball choice with 19 players in the limited field of 29 trusting a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success.
Titleist was also the top choice in the driver (10), fairway wood (16), hybrid (5), iron (11) and approach, sand and lob wedge (27) categories.
SHOTS AND SCENES
(Clockwise from top left) Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Na and Zach Johnson share the common goal of capturing the biggest prize on the 2014 PGA Tour circuit.
The stately Tudor-style clubhouse at East Lake Golf Club.
Throughout the playoffs, Titleist Brand Ambassador Morgan Hoffmann has relied on his Pro V1x golf ball and a full bag of Titleist clubs, including his trusty Scotty Cameron Futura X putter.
The view that players will face as they tee of the 1st hole at East Lake Golf Club.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson took some time early this week to give a short game clinic to a lucky group of Tour fans.
The 436-yard 10th hole at ELGC plays slightly uphill and is flanked by bunkers as well as trees.
Posted: September 10, 2014
One of the hottest players on the PGA TOUR entering this week's TOUR Championship is Titleist Brand Ambassador Morgan Hoffmann. Hoffmann enters the season finale at No. 21 in the FedExCup Playoffs, and a win gives him an outside chance at securing the $10 million bonus that accompanies capturing the season-long points race. Entering the FedExCup Playoffs, Hoffmann was No. 124 of 125 players to qualify for The Barclays, which was contested in Paramus, N.J., just minutes from his childhood home.
Hoffmann made history over the last three weeks, becoming the only player ever to start each FedExCup Playoffs event outside the cut line and play his way into the next Playoffs event. He tied for 9th at The Barclays to vault from No. 124 to No. 73, followed by a T35 finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship that advanced him to No. 68, just inside the field of 70. At last week's BMW Championship, Hoffmann fired a course record-tying 62 on Saturday, followed by a Sunday 63 to help him finish third and move from No. 68 to No. 21.
Starting the Playoffs at No. 124, Hoffmann tied for the lowest ranked player to begin the FedExCup Playoffs and reach the field of 30 in Atlanta.
"It's a dream come true," said Hoffmann prior to a practice round at East Lake on Tuesday. "From the beginning of the season, this has been my major goal, to get to the finals. I put a lot of hard work in to it this year and it's finally paid off. I feel pretty good about myself and my attitude coming into this week is really positive."
So what has changed in Hoffmann's game plan over the past month?
"I've kind of gone back to the college mentality of playing with Peter Uihlein and Rickie Fowler, just messing around at Karsten Creek and going pretty much for anything," said Hoffmann, who was teammates of both at Oklahoma State before turning professional in 2011. "Kind of just trying to play like it's my home course every week. I haven't known the course at each stop we are at, but I am just trying to go out there and have fun."
What's in Morgan Hoffmann's Titleist Bag?: Pro V1x golf ball, 913D3 driver (7.5º), 913F.d fairway metal (13.5º), 712U 3-iron, MB 714 irons (4-PW), Vokey Design SM5 gap (52º), sand (58º) and lob (62º) wedges, Scotty Cameron Futura X putter
Hoffmann is one of 19 players in the field of 29 (one player has withdrawn) who will be relying upon a Titleist golf ball at the TOUR Championship, and one of 10 full product line Titleist Brand Ambassadors, more than any other competitor. Check out the field of Team Titleist below: