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Posted: September 15, 2014
He admits that it sounds a little crazy, but Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Billy Horschel revealed that he had foreseen his FedExCup victory in a dream he experienced at the start of his 2014 PGA Tour campaign.
"There's certain things throughout my life that have come true, and I've sort of seen it beforehand in my‑‑ when I sleep at night," explained Horschel in an interview after his victory at East Lake. "I just sort of, you know, have a premonition or whatever you want to call it."
Horschel described an incident in his boyhood when he was struck in the eye with a bat during an All-Star baseball team practice. The 10-year-old Billy shed no tears at the time, as he instantly recalled a dream he had had sometime earlier that had foreshadowed the accident and prepared him somewhat for the blow.
He had a similar experience this past winter.
"I just remember something like that in December or January, I just had this‑‑ you know, I woke up and I wasn't sure if it was real or not because it was very faint, but I remember holding up the FedExCup trophy, and as the season went along, I never thought about it."
However, as his play began to take a brilliant turn in the FedExCup series, Horschel began to reconsider the dream.
"Obviously being in the position where I was, I thought about it last week after I won. I've thought about it this week a little bit that maybe this is actually something that is supposed to happen. And maybe that's why when I woke up this morning I was calm knowing that this is my chance to win the FedExCup trophy."
Whether his calm state of mind was because of the dream or simply because his three-week hot streak was now feeling like the norm, Horschel got off to a solid start in the final round of the TOUR Championship.
Teeing off in the final group, Horschel had birdie chances on the first three holes and made the turn in 2-under 33. His focus was unwavering while playing each shot, but between shots he displayed the laid back attitude that Horschel admits has been a huge key during his great run.
"I play the best when I'm relaxed. I play the best when I'm having fun out on the golf course, but at the same time I am focused on what I need to take care of on the golf course. So in between shots, I'm going to be focused but I can joke around and have a conversation, and then when it's my turn to play my shot I get back into my little zone, especially the last three weeks, that's what I've realized I need to do better, and it's turned out really well."
Horschel bogeyed the 10th, one of just 5 bogeys he made for the week, but bounced back with a birdie on 15 to regain a 1-shot lead. On the 16th, after an errant drive, Horschel showed even greater mental toughness, chipping back to the fairway rather than risk a big number coming down the stretch. He struck what he thought was a perfect wedge approach, but it came up a yard short and spun back off a ridge in the green.
On the 30-foot putt that remained, Horschel made his best stroke of the day, sending his Pro V1x golf ball in the center of the cup and converting a world-class par save that all but sealed the victory.
Horschel finished the TOUR Championship with a winning total of 11-under 269. He led the field in Greens-In-Regulation, hitting an astounding 79.17% and was 6th in the Stroked Gained - Putting category with a mark of .815.
Horschel's amazing playoff run began, oddly enough, with a missed cut at the first playoff series event, The Barclays.
"Coming home from Barclays and talking to my wife, I sort of said there's a couple of things I need to do mentally different on the golf course and be a little bit less hard on myself, get out of my own way, commit to some shots better."
Following this discussion with his wife, Brittany, and his conscious decision to adjust his outlook, Horschel's dream was set on course. And the rest, as they say, is history. Despite a misssed opportunity to win the Deutsche Bank Championship, he took away only positives from his runner-up finish.
He followed up with a convincing victory the following week at the BMW Championship and validated the win with his historic TOUR Championship and FedExCup-clinching performance.
Congratulations, Billy, from everyone at Team Titleist!
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
The fifth and final major of the 2014 LPGA season is off and running in Evian-les-Bains, France and the drama is building at the Evian Championship as we head into the weekend.
And in this final major test, Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball of choice with 86 players trusting a Pro V1 or Pro V1x for their success. That’s more than 10-times the nearest competitor with 8, and more than all competitors combined.
The birdie putts are dropping, the ladies are posting low numbers and there are only 36-holes left to be played before a champion is crowned.
We hope you’ll join us in wishing the best of luck to all of Team Titleist this weekend!