Jonathan Byrd
used a Titleist Pro V1 golf ball in winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and opening this new year like never before.

Byrd's playoff victory Sunday in Hawaii was the fifth and most significant win of his PGA Tour career, qualifying him this season for the Masters, U.S. Open and at least one World Golf Championship, not to mention a trip back to Kapalua's Plantation Course next January to defend his title.

"I'm pretty overwhelmed, probably, is the best word to describe it," said Byrd, who made par on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to outlast Pro V1 loyalist Robert Garrigus. Both players closed in 6-under 67 to finish at 24-under 268.

Byrd and Garrigus were two of 18 players in the winners-only field that trusted Titleist golf balls, three times the nearest competitor with six and more than all other competitors combined. Titleist was also first in Iron Sets (10); Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (25) and Putters (T-10).

Last October, Byrd qualified for the Tournament of Champions quite famously with a hole-in-one to win a three-way playoff at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open. Never before had someone closed out a PGA Tour event with an ace, nevermind one in Las Vegas. (Garrigus also earned a late invitation to Kapalua, winning the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World in November.)

As it turns out, Byrd's hand was just heating up.

"I can't sit here and not think about where I was toward the end of the season last year fighting for my card, and was content with that, you know, and just kind of fighting to play well and finding joy in that process, too," Byrd said.

"Then I win my last tournament of the year, and win it in that fashion, and then get to come to Maui to play in this event, and then feel good coming into here, and work hard in the off-season and get back in contention and find myself in another playoff and win another tournament. I'm just thankful, I'm overwhelmed, I'm grateful – all of that above."

Garrigus' Hawaiian invitational a

Byrd's victory was one of three on the weekend for Titleist Brand Ambassadors and golf ball loyalists. So far this season, 465 players have trusted Titleist golf balls across the worldwide professional tours, almost six times the nearest competitor with 78 and more than all competitors combined.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Louis Oosthuizen birdied the first hole of a three-way all-Titleist Pro V1x playoff to win the Africa Open in his native South Africa.


Oosthuizen hit his approach on the playoff hole to 8 feet then rolled in his Pro V1x golf ball for birdie and his first victory since last summer's Open Championship at St. Andrews.

"It's been one of those weeks where the putter was very cold, but my caddie kept me calm and said it would go in eventually," said Oosthuizen.

"So I kept on trying and made that nice one on the last which I will remember."

Oosthuizen also made a 12-footer for birdie on the 18th hole at East London Golf Club to force the playoff with fellow Pro V1x loyalists Chris Wood and Manuel Quiros.

Titleist was the overwhelming top choice in golf balls at the Africa Open with 117 players, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 14.

Of the 13 players who finished among the top 10 and ties, nine relied upon Titleist golf balls, including four of whom played New Pro V1 or Pro V1x prototypes. 


AUSTRALASIAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Paul Sheehan captured the first event on the 2011 Australasian Tour schedule, posting an 8-under 276 total to claim the Victorian Open. Sheehan finished two shots better than fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Matthew Griffin.


“My putting and my chipping today was just unbelievable," said Sheehan. "Every hole I had to work for my pars and it was a real challenge.”

Sheehan and Griffin were two of 116 players in the field that trusted Titleist golf balls, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 16. Of the 12 players who finished among the Top 10 and ties, 10 trusted a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x for their success.

More than half of the players competing this week in the PGA Tour's season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions are trusting Titleist golf balls, including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Steve Stricker, Adam Scott, Ben Crane, Bill Haas, Zach Johnson, Jason Bohn and Tim Clark.

In total, Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are being played by 18 of the 33 2010 PGA Tour winners gathered at Kapalua's Plantation Course, three times the nearest competitor. Titleist was also first in Iron Sets (10), Sand, Lob & Approach Wedges (25) and Putters (T-10).


At the end of the 2010 season, 19,904 players across the worldwide professional tours trusted Titleist golf balls, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 3,446 and more than all other competitors combined.

This week, Clark, Crane and Bohn are teeing up new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x prototype golf balls, as well as Pro V1x loyalists Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson – who, according to PGATour.com, hit the "Shot heard 'round Kapalua" Thursday on the 663-yard 18th hole.

Faced with a 305-yard second shot from the middle of the fairway, Watson decided to hit driver off the deck, shaping his shot about 50 yards from right to left. His new Pro V1x prototype golf ball landed about 10 yards in front of the green, bounced forward and rolled to 11 feet from the hole. He made the putt to finish his round at 3-under 70.

On Twitter, fellow Pro V1x loyalist Ian Poulter called it the "shot of the year already." Regardless, it was a great start.



Here's your opportunity to start the 2011 golf season on the right foot with a tour-level, precision fit from the Titleist FittingWorks Tour Van experts.

The FittingWorks Tour Van will be making a few stops this month at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., and a limited number of appointments are still available.

Our mobile fitting vans combine comprehensive high level fittings with on-site club building to provide a tour-level fitting experience. Our expert fitters are equipped with a launch monitor and expansive range of fitting clubs. Tour Van technicians provide assembly, personalization and repair services.

This is a truly unique experience that will help take your game to the next level.

Here are the details:

Available Days: Jan. 12, 13, 15, 22 and 23.

Location: Ritz Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes (4040 Central Florida Pkwy., Orlando, FL 32837)

Option 1 (Full-Line Fitting): During this 2-hour session, one of our FittingWorks Tour Van professionals will work with you to optimize your driving performance, make your iron play more precise, enhance your wedge scoring shots and fine-tune your Titleist set composition.

Price: $300.


Option 2 (Driver, Long Game, Iron or Wedge Fitting): If you are looking to get dialed-in for a particular part of your game, we can customize a 1-hour session to focus on getting a precision fit for your driver, long game, irons or wedges. Using our SureFit System of interchangeable heads and shafts, our fitting experts will get you on the right path to help you get more out of your equipment and lower your scores.

Price: $150.

Please note: These appointments will book fast and are being offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To reserve your spot, call 1-888-TITLEIST or e-mail clubfitting@titleist.com.

For more information, please visit: http://www.titleist.com/golf-club-fitting/ or you can download a brochure by clicking here.

Like many Team Titleist members, Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson is starting the new year with a new driver.

When Zach steps to the first tee at 12:20 p.m. local time Thursday at Kapalua's Plantation Course for the first round of the 2011 PGA Tour season, in his hands will be a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball and a new Titleist 910D2 driver, which he will be using at this week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions for the first time in competition.

Over the last few months, Zach has spent a lot of time working with the new 910 driver, many times with a Titleist Tour Rep standing behind him checking the vitals on the TrackMan launch monitor. On Monday of BMW Championship week last summer, he could be found on the Cog Hill driving range testing the new driver, just an hour or so after it was announced that he had been selected as a captain's pick for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Not to be considered a tinkerer, Zach for years has used a Titleist 909D2 8.5, bent to about 9.5, with a Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 73 shaft.

This week, he will play a Titleist 910D2 8.5 driver with the same Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 73 shaft and his SureFit Tour (SFT) hosel in the A•1 setting (standard loft, standard lie).

Team Titleist caught up with Zach yesterday on the driving range at Kapalua to talk about his new driver along with the rest of his Titleist equipment (and a few other necessities).

Check out the video below to see what Zach had to say.

2011 Johnson Zach WITB 010611.flv


Here's a closer look at Johnson's Titleist equipment:


Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: 910D2 8.5, A•1 SFT setting (Diamana Blue 73)
Fairway: 909F2 13.5 (Diamana White 73)
Fairway: 909F2 18.5 (ZCOM Pro95 Fairway for Titleist)
Hybrid: 909H 21.0 (Speeder 904HB)
Irons (4): AP1 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Irons (5-9): AP2 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges
(48.06, 54.12, 60V): Vokey Design Spin Milled (True Temper Dynamic Gold)

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