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Posted: October 16, 2009
European Tour competition is back in Portugal this week for the third hosting of the Portugal Masters. The event is being played at the Arnold Palmer-designed Oceânico Victoria Golf Course in the beautiful Algarve region of southern Portugal. The region is a hugely popular holiday destination with golfers from all over Europe as it features a wide variety of top quality courses. Situated on Portugal’s southern coast, the region is also one of the most southerly points in the whole of Europe which ensures sunny skies and warm weather for much of the year. The Portugal Masters is the European Tour’s second visit to the region in 2009 following the Estoril Open de Portugal back in April. Those of you that follow the European Tour will undoubtedly remember Titleist Ambassador Michael Hoey’s playoff victory earlier in the year, and while Michael isn’t in the field this week, there are a number of other Titleist Ambassadors in the hunt for the title.
Click above to view the slideshow
One notable name in the field is that of former Open Champion Ben Curtis. Ben needs to play in two more European Tour events in order to qualify for the season ending Dubai World Championship. The Portugal Masters is the first of these two events, with the second likely to come in Singapore in two weeks time. Ben is still a well known and popular personality in Europe following his Open victory in 2003 and it was good to see him in Portugal for this week’s event.
The Titleist Tour Team had another busy week as the transition into new Titleist equipment continues for a number of our brand Ambassadors.The team is now fully equipped with the new line of Titleist irons and demand for these products has been immediate. In recent weeks a number of players have switched into one of the new Titleist iron models including Robert Karlsson (new MB), Tano Goya (new AP2) and Brett Rumford (new AP2) all of whom are featured in this week’s slideshow with their new clubs. Feedback on the new iron offerings has been unanimously positive among the players with the looks, feel and performance of the new AP2, CB and MB drawing widespread praise.Put simply, the players won’t switch if the clubs don’t work, so the amount of players making the transition into new product speaks volumes.
Another reason for the team being particularly busy at the moment is massive demand for Vokey Spin Milled Condition of Competition (C-C) Wedges. The vast majority of players are using wedges with grooves that do not conform to the new R&A rulings coming into force on January 1st 2010 for Tour professionals or amateur players competing in professional Tour events. They are therefore looking to obtain conforming wedges as soon as possible to allow them time to adjust to the new grooves during practice. Given the vast quantity and variety of Vokey wedges out on the European Tour it is quite a task to switch all of the players over to conforming wedges, but, with the TTSV fully stocked with Vokey heads, the team is able to accommodate the vast majority of requests. One player who has recently received his new C-C Vokey is Argentine Estanislao Goya. You can see a picture of his new Vokey 60-T C-C wedge in this week’s slideshow.
While irons and Vokey wedges have been in high demand there is still barely a week that goes by in which one of the team isn’t working with a player on their driver or farway metals. There seems to be a definite trend for European Tour players to want to tinker with their metals, particularly their driver set-up, in the hope of finding more distance, greater accuracy (or both!!!). This week saw two of the European Tour’s heavy hitters check in with the team as both Ross Fisher and Robert Karlsson took the opportunity to work on their driver and fairway set-ups, respectively. Fisher is one of the longest hitters in world golf and has been loyal to the Titleist 905R for a number of years. Recently, Ross has found his ball ballooning a little with his current ‘gamer’ and following discussion with Titleist Tour Representative Mattias Jelver, he took time out during practice to test a new driver. The objective was to flatten out his ball flight to create a more penetrating trajectory and the obvious candidate to achieve this was a low lofted 909D3 driver. Following a successful range session Ross took a new driver out for the practice round and early indications are that he could be as much as 10 yards longer with the new club – that Pro V1 is certainly going to know when it has been hit!!
Model: 909D3 8.5°
Shaft: True Temper Project X 7A3 X-Flex
Grip: Lamkin Crossline Cord Black (+1/64”)
Following a recent switch to the new Titleist MB irons Robert Karlsson was back aboard the TTSV this week to discuss a new fairway metal. Robert felt that he was losing a little carry with his current fairway and decided that he wanted to go back to a tried and tested formula. Robert had huge success using the Grafalloy Prolaunch Red shaft in his fairway last year and the team were more than happy to offer him a new 909F3 fitted with this shaft. The results were evident when Robert hit the range with a noticeable increase in hang time resulting in the extra yards through the air that he was looking for. Mission accomplished!!!
Model: 909F3 13°
Shaft: Grafalloy Prolaunch Red Fairway X-Flex
Grip: Golf Pride Multi-Compound Round (.600) Black/Red
With the Race to Dubai nearing its crescendo and a number of players battling hard to keep their card it is sure to be another intense weekend of European Tour competition in southern Portugal. Last week we touched on Paul Waring’s recent run of bad luck but we’re pleased to report that in spite of a lack of practice in Madrid last week he was able to post a respectable finish and move inside the top 115 on the Race to Dubai standings. With the opportunity to practice in Portugal this week Paul has posted two solid opening rounds to make the cut and will now be looking to push on over the weekend as he bids to secure his card for 2010. Good luck to Paul and his Titleist stablemates out in Portugal. The Blog will return next Friday with all the latest from inside the ropes on the European Tour but for now “adeus” from the Algarve!!!
Posted: October 15, 2009
This week in steamy south Florida, 144 Nationwide Tour players are vying for more than the $112,500 first place check. After the last putt falls on Sunday, the top 60 players on the 2009 Nationwide Tour Money List will be qualified for the Tour Championship.
Next week at the Daniel Island Club, 25 of them will earn PGA Tour membership for 2010, another 15 will earn exemptions into the final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, and all 60 players will have secured fully exempt playing privileges on the Nationwide Tour for 2010.
There is a diverse field of golfers at the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club this week. Leading the way is Titleist Brand Ambassador Michael Sim. Sim is atop the money list by a margin of $149,300. While he has already secured his PGA Tour card with three victories this season, winning the money title comes with the added perk of an invitation to the 2010 PLAYERS Championship.
The man most closely chasing Sim is Pro V1x loyalist Blake Adams. Consistency has been the hallmark of Adams’ season, as he’s posted eight top-10 finishes in 19 starts and sits in second place on the money list without a win. Adams also holds the 2009 season record for consecutive rounds at par or better with 24; the streak ran from the last week of June through the end of August.
2007 British Amateur champion Drew Weaver is making his professional debut this week. The 22-year-old Titleist Brand Ambassador from High Point, N.C. is coming off a successful summer of amateur golf. Weaver finished 40th at the U.S. Open and was a member of the victorious United States Walker Cup Team.
Another notable player teeing it up at Miccosukee this week is South African Tyrone van Aswegen. In only 2 starts, van Aswegen is 86th on the money list. The Titleist Brand Ambassador will need his second top 3 finish this month to make it to next week’s Tour Championship, and he’s playing well enough to make it happen.
Be sure to check out the image gallery for an inside-the-ropes view of the Miccosukee Championship.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Drew Weaver is making his professional debut this week.
I arrived home yesterday and it feels good to be back in Australia. I think I fell into a complete heap when I boarded the plane at LAX. The next thing I knew we were landing in Oz. I didn't realize how exhausted I was until I had the time to actually sleep.
The week at the Presidents Cup was full-on and I enjoyed being a part of the team....of course all except the part where we didn't win the cup. Every President Cup team I have played on has always been a special part of my career and last week was no different. It was a complete honor to be a captain's pick and to play for not only my country but also my childhood hero. Ernie and I got off to a great start on Thursday. I have to say the juices were flowing on the very first tee and I hadn't experienced that feeling for awhile. It was a lot of hard work on Thursday and it felt good to come out on top. Unfortunately the rest of the matches weren't as fruitful. I hit the ball well but came up short in my next 4 matches. It was a week filled with a lot of emotion. The team had a ton of fun off the course and Greg and Frank were great team leaders. We don't have the opportunity to spend time with one another throughout the year so I always look forward to team competition. A lot of ping pong, video games and pool.....! Hats off to Tim and Ryo for having a very good week. Ryo, youngest competitor ever on any President Cup team, has proved, once again, he's got game!
I am really close to firing on all cylinders and being a part of the President Cup gave me the confidence that I have been lacking for a few months. I will practice the next 2 weeks and then head over to Singapore for the Barclays Singapore Open. I have had good results in the past at Sentosa and looking forward to getting back there. Weather on the Gold Coast is perfect so I'm going to enjoy the time practicing, and also catching up on business and my foundation.
I'll be in touch next week.
Until then, take care.
Adam blasts a drive with his Titleist 909D2 driver on Day 1 of the 2009 Presidents Cup.
Posted: October 6, 2009
I'm in San Francisco gearing up for the week ahead.I flew in on Sunday evening after my final round at Turning Stone. I felt I played well last week and was pleased that I had three solid rounds of breaking par. My putting was a lot better than it has been the past several months so I feel like my game is getting back on track.I've also put a lot of work in on my posture at address and that is also feeling more comfortable. I am heading in the right direction and feeling confident things are back on track.
I am excited to be a part of the international team this week. It was definitely a goal of mine to make the team. I grew up watching Greg in Australia and he is such a great ambassador for the game so it is an honor to be a part of this year's Presidents Cup. We have several social commitments during a Presidents Cup week and more media surrounds the competition so it's always a balancing act this week. Greg definitely has us focused and is managing our time efficiently. There's a special buzz in the air and hopefully we will get a win this week. It's unfortunate we've never won against the American team on U.S. soil so that gives all of us even more motivation to get a victory. It's definitely going to be an exciting 4 days.
I'll be in touch next week and if all goes well I'll have a story or two from the celebration on Sunday night.
Until then, take care.
Adam posted three sub-par rounds last week at Turning Stone
in his warm-up for The Presidents Cup.
Posted: October 5, 2009
Hello Titleist fans,
I just ran into my Titleist friends during filming of the new Titleist commercials and they thought you might like to know that I have a new website and blog.
I had a lot of fun making the Titleist commercials for NXT golf balls with my friend Scott Van Pelt and have received some great feedback. I've been traveling a good deal over the last six months from US to Switzerland to Austria and you can read all about my travels at: http://www.di-stewart.com.
And don't forget to check out my website where you see videos and photos of my travels around the globe. I'm also on twitter at http://twitter.com/distewart1
Keep in touch,