Titleist ambassador Robert Karlsson during the first round of the PGA Championship.

The first round of the PGA Championship was completed under sunny skies this morning after play was suspended due to darkness last night with 24 players still on the course. The 2-under par 68's posted yesterday morning by Titleist brand ambassador Robert Karlsson and Pro V1x loyalist Jeev Milkha Singh held up for the lead as just seven players from the field of 156 finished under par. Karlsson and Singh tee off in consecutive groups this afternoon beginning at 12:50 and 1:00 p.m., respectively.

Titleist brand ambassador Frank Esposito, Jr. led the group of 20 PGA club professionals who are teeing it up at this week's PGA Championship, opening eyes with a steady first round of 1-over 71. Esposito, who works out of Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, N.J., punched his ticket to this event after surviving a playoff for the final spot at the PGA Professional National Championship in June. The 45-year old worked closely with Titleist Players' Division representative Greg Cesario earlier this week, confirming the perfect fit for one of the most important events in his golfing career.

In addition to the Pro V1x golf ball, Esposito's Titleist bag includes the new 909D3 (9.5°) driver, 906F2 (18°) fairway metal, 585.H (21°) utility metal, AP2 (4-P) irons, Vokey Design approach (52°) and lob (60°) wedges and a new Scotty Cameron Newport Fastback putter.

Click on this link to check out the great article on Esposito from this morning's Detroit News.


Titleist brand ambassador Frank Esposito, Jr.

90th PGA Championship — Round One

We're on the ground at Oakland Hills and Titleist brand ambassador Robert Karlsson caused an early stir. Karlsson, who is enjoying a career year on the PGA European Tour, got off to a slow start with a double bogey six on the first hole, but followed with birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 8 to make the turn at 3-under 32. The Swede made his sixth birdie in 10 holes on No. 11 before giving two shots back with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15 to finish at 2-under 68. At 6 feet, 5 inches, Robert is one of the tallest players on tour. In 17 events this year he has accumulated nine Top 10 finishes, including a T-7 at the British Open, T-4 at the U.S. Open and T-8 at the Masters, and has risen from No. 41 to No. 22 in the Official World Golf Rankings since the start of the year. He put a couple of new 909 fairway metals (15° and 18°) in his bag for the first time last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational where he finished T-20.

Click on the video player below to hear Robert's comments following his opening round.

 

Playing in the group following Karlsson was India's Jeev Milkha Singh, who was also making an early name for himself. Singh, who plays the Pro V1x golf ball, got off to a shaky start with a bogey on the first, but rebounded with an eagle on the 529-yard No. 2 and a birdie on No. 5. He will carry momentum into tomorrow following birdies on No. 15, a short par 4 (401 yards) and No. 17, a long par 3 (238 yards), to finish at 2-under 68 and tie with Karlsson for the lead in the clubhouse. Singh is another interesting player who is a virtual unknown in the U.S., but has had huge success in Asia and Europe. He became the first Indian player to participate in the Masters when he finished T-37 in 2007. He followed that performance up with a T-25 this year. He has one win to his credit this year, capturing the Bank Austria GolfOpen in June. Ranked 66th in the world, Singh is 13th on the Order of Merit.

Click on the video player below to hear what Jeev had to say about his opening round.

 

Titleist is also represented at the 2008 PGA Championship by the following nine full-line ambassadors from the PGA of America Professional ranks. Each of these PGA Professionals qualified for the championship at Oakland Hills via their finish at the PGA Professional National Championship contested in June at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia.

TITLEIST PGA PROFESSIONALS IN THE 2008 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Sam Arnold, Cincinnati, Ohio
Pro V1x Golf Balls
909D2 Driver
906F2 Fairway
Forged ZB Irons
Vokey Design 200 Series and Spin Milled Wedges
Scotty Cameron Futura Phantom Putter

Ryan Benzel, Bothell, Washington
Pro V1x Golf Balls
909D2 Driver
906F4 Fairway
Forged ZB and Forged ZM Irons
Vokey Design 200 Series and Spin Milled TVD Wedges
Scotty Cameron Newport Fastback Putter

Frank Esposito, Jr., Monroe, New Jersey
Pro V1x Golf Balls
909D3 Driver
906F4 Fairway
585.H Utilities
AP2 Irons
Vokey Design 200 Series Wedges
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 Putter

Scott Hebert, Traverse City, Michigan
Pro V1x Golf Balls
909D2 Driver
906F4 Fairway
585.H Utility
AP2 Irons
Vokey Design 200 Series and Spin Milled TVD Wedges
Scotty Cameron Newport Putter

Vince Jewell, Euless, Texas
Pro V1x Golf Balls
909D3 Driver
906F4 Fairway
585.H Utility
Forged 670 Irons
Vokey Design Spin Milled TVD and Spin Milled Wedges
Scotty Cameron Mid Sur Putter

Alan Morin, Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Pro V1x Golf Balls
905T Driver
904F Fairway
Forged 695CB Irons
Vokey Design 200 Series Wedges
Scotty Cameron Putter

Tim Thelan, College Station, Texas
Pro V1 Golf Balls
909D2 Driver
906F4 Fairway
AP2 Irons
Vokey Design 200 Series and Spin Milled TVD Wedges
Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Putter

Tim Weinhart, Alpharetta, Georgia
Pro V1 Golf Balls
905R Driver
AP2 Irons
Vokey Design 200 Series and Spin Milled Wedges
Scotty Cameron Detour Putter

Don Yrene, Scottsdale, Arizona
Pro V1x Golf Balls
905S Driver
906F4 Fairways
AP2 Irons
Vokey Design 200 Series Wedges
Scotty Cameron Newport Mil Spec Putter

 

Titleist at the 2008 PGA Championship

Titleist is represented at the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Michigan by the following 22 full-line ambassadors from the worldwide professional tours. Click on each player’s photo below to see what Titleist equipment they’re carrying in their bags as they compete in the year’s final major.

TITLEIST EQUIPMENT PLAYERS IN THE 2008 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

 

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