Padraig Harrington put the new Titleist Pro V1x prototype golf ball in play for the first time Thursday at the Asian Tour's Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia.
Four days later, Harrington celebrated his first victory since the 2008 PGA Championship, closing with a 3-under 69 Sunday at Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club to win by three shots.
Harrington is the first player to find the winner's circle using the new Titleist Pro V1x prototype golf ball, having received the balls just a week earlier. The new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf ball prototypes made their competitive debut Oct. 7 in the first round of the PGA Tour's McGladrey Classic at Sea Island (Ga.) Golf Club.
Harrington was also one of 105 players in the field that trusted a Titleist golf ball, more than five times the nearest competitor with 19.
“There’s no doubt that it was my week to win. If you had followed me for the four days, I don’t think anyone would have questioned that my name was written on the trophy before the tournament started," Harrington, who entered the final round with a five-shot lead, told AsianTour.com. "I got the breaks all the way through."
Harrington's victory was one of seven last week for Titleist Brand Ambassadors and golf ball loyalists across the worldwide professional tours. In 2010, Titleist golf ball players have recorded 122 total victories, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 21:
• Rocco Mediate used a Pro V1x golf ball to win the Frys.com Open for his first PGA Tour victory since 2001, holing out for eagle all four days en route to a compelling one-shot victory over Titleist Brand Ambassador Bo Van Pelt and Pro V1x loyalist Alex Prugh at CordeValle GC in San Martin, Calif.
Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Frys.com Open with 88 players, including 11 new Pro V1 and nine new Pro V1x prototypes in play. Titleist also was first in Iron Sets (35), Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (102) and Putters (57).
Titleist golf ball players swept the top 5 spots (Mediate, Van Pelt, Prugh, Rickie Fowler, Chris Tidland) on the leaderboard, and together provided one of the most exciting finishes of the year on the PGA Tour.
Mediate, 47, was the headliner. After playing his first 15 holes Sunday in 5 over, he birdied the par-3 16th and then hit a pitching wedge from 116 yards on the 295-yard par-4 17th that spun back into the cup for eagle to take control of the tournament. Van Pelt, Prugh and Fowler each drove the 17th green, Prugh nearing holing out for double-eagle just before Mediate's grand finale.
On Thursday, Mediate aced the 230-yard par-3 third hole; Friday, he holed out from 160 yards on the 418-yard par-4 fourth hole; and Saturday, Mediate holed out from 111 yards on the 568-yard par-5 15th.
As for Sunday?
"Unbelievable," said Mediate. "…I can't believe it, but I can, if it makes any sense."
• In his first two weeks playing the new Pro V1 golf ball prototype, Titleist Brand Ambassador Bo Van Pelt (new Pro V1 prototype, 909D2 driver, new 910Fd fairway metal, new 910H hybrid, CB and MB irons, Vokey Design wedges) has recorded seven rounds in the 60s (T-2, Frys.com Open, T-6 McGladrey Classic) and moved to 13th on the PGA Tour money list.
"It has been my most consistent year," said Van Pelt, who switched to Titleist equipment and a Pro V1 golf ball at the beginning of this season. (Click here to take a closer look inside Van Pelt's Titleist bag.)
• Pro V1x loyalist Richard Green made 11 birdies in a final-round 7-under 65 to come back from seven shots and win the Portugal Masters for his third European Tour victory.
Green finished with an 18-under 270 total (70-66-69-65) and two-shot victory over a group of four players, including Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Karlsson (Pro V1x, new 910D3 driver, new 910F fairway metals, MB irons, Vokey Design wedges, Scotty Cameron putter).
“I thought I was a little too it far back, being sort of seven shots behind the leader,” Green told European Tour.com. “But you know, I set out there today to shoot a good score and I had 64 in my mind and I thought if I got anywhere near, I would have a great week.
Green and Karlsson were two of 69 players in the field that trusted Titleist golf balls, more than two times the nearest competitor with 24.
• Pro V1 loyalist Beatriz Recari earned her first-career LPGA victory Sunday at the CVS Pharmacy LPGA Challenge, tapping her Titleist Pro V1 golf ball in from two feet on the 18th hole at Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, Calif., for a one-shot victory over Pro V1x loyalist Gwladys Nocera.
Recari, whose 14-under 274 total was highlighted by a second-round 6-under 66, is the first Spaniard to win on the LPGA since Marta Figueros-Dotti at the 1994 Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open. (Click here to learn more about Beatriz Recari on LPGA.com.)
"I still cannot believe it. I think it'll take me kind of a couple days to assimilate that," said Recari, who was born and raised in Pamplona, Spain. "…I'm thrilled. I did a very good job. I had three weeks off. I worked very hard, and that paid off. I played very well last week. And I got a great feeling when I came in, a good vibe, and I'm just very, very happy and proud of myself of that result and the kind of competition that I showed out there."
Recari was one one 84 players in the field that trusted Titleist golf balls, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 10.
Titleist Pro V1 golf ball players also swept the top six spots (Recari, Nocera, Michelle Redman, Karine Icher, Cristie Kerr and Wendy Ward) on the leaderboard.
• Pro V1x loyalist Jason Gore cruised to a four-shot victory at the Miccosukee Championship Sunday in Miami, setting a record by collecting his seventh trophy on the Nationwide Tour.
"It's a hard way to make an easy living. A lot of people play for money but I love trophies," Gore told PGATour.com. "Trophies shine!"
Gore finished at 16-under 268, highlighted by a pair of 6-under 65s on Thursday and Saturday. He made just five bogeys over the four days of play.
"This (win) ranks among the best," Gore said. "It's just been so darn long. It never gets old. It doesn't matter where or when you win."
Gore was one of 89 players in the field that trusted Titleist golf balls, more than four times the nearest competitor with 19. Titleist also was first in Iron Sets (37), Sand, Lob and Approach wedges (122) and Putters (59).
• Titleist Brand Ambassador Kyung-tae Kim (Pro V1x, 909D3 driver, 909H hybrid, ZB and ZM irons, and Vokey Design wedges) won his second Japan Tour title this season at the Japan Open Golf Championship, closing in 7-under 64 to come from behind and win by two shots at Aichi Country Club.
Kim, who finished at 13-under 271, was one of 38 players in the field that trusted a Titleist golf ball, more than any other competitor. Titleist also was first in Hybrids (27), including 3 new 910H hybrids; and Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (69).
• Sunshine Toour rookie and Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Harding (Pro V1x, 909D3 driver, 909F2 fairway, 909H hybrid, CB irons, Vokey Design Wedges, Scotty Cameron putter) claimed his first career title at the Vodacom Business Origins of Golf Final at Oubaai.
Harding made three birdies over his final five holes, including a tap-in birdie on the par-4 17th at Oubaai Golf Resort & Spa, to close in 1-under 71 and hold on for a one-shot victory.
“It was awesome,” Harding, who finished with a 7-under 209 total, told SunshineTour.com. “I am thoroughly pleased. It was a fantastic week, nerve-wracking nonetheless, but I am overwhelmed. I’m thrilled.”
Titleist was the golf ball of choice at the Vodacom Business Origins of Golf with 72 players, compared to 26 for the nearest competitor.