Determined and undaunted down the stretch, a pair of Titleist Pro V1x players swept the weekend's top honors on the European Tour to lead a five-win week for Titleist golf ball players around the world.

At the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain, Pro V1x loyalist Ian Poulter concluded a hard-fought, marathon week with a 2-and-1 victory over fellow Englishman and Pro V1x loyalist Luke Donald.

At the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal, Titleist Brand Ambassador Michael Hoey made just two bogeys over his final 40 holes to earn his second European Tour title.

So far in 2011, Titleist golf ball players have combined for 54 victories across the worldwide professional tours, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 11 and more than all competitors combined.

A total of 6,811 players have trusted Titleist golf balls in competition this season, more than six times the nearest competitor with 1,094 and more than all competitors combined.

EUROPEAN TOUR (Volvo World Match Play Championship): Already regarded as one of the world's most daunting match-play opponents, Pro V1x loyalist Ian Poulter successfully navigated 108 holes at Spain's Finca Cortesin GC to earn his 15th career victory and move back into the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Five of Poulter's six matches went to the 18th hole or beyond, including his quarterfinal match against Pro V1x loyalist Lee Westwood (1 up) and semifinal match against Pro V1x loyalist Nicolas Colsaerts (19th hole).

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 13 players, more than three times the nearest competitor with four and more than all competitors combined.

In the 18-hole final, Poulter rolled his Pro V1x golf ball in from 40 feet for birdie on the par-3 12th hole, kicking off a three-birdie, five-hole stretch that would decide the match against fellow match-play stalwart and Pro V1x loyalist Luke Donald, the 2011 WGC-Accenture Match Play champ.

On the par-4 16th, Poulter slammed his approach to 2 feet for birdie to take a 2-up lead over his countryman. The match ended one hole later, Poulter making a 7-footer for par to halve the hole and win, 2 and 1.

"It's been incredible," said Poulter, also a winner at the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play Champion. "I think I've probably played more holes than anybody this week, getting down to 18 every day apart from today."

"I'm just very happy. I've hung in there very well. When I did look as if I was out, dead and buried, I managed to hole a putt and chip it pretty tight."
 

 

• EUROPEAN TOUR (Madeira Islands Open): Titleist Brand Ambassador Michael Hoey's final round in Portugal was both the steadiest and most successful. He made 15 pars, two birdies and just one bogey at the demanding Porto Santo Golf, rolling in his Pro V1x golf ball for several key mid-range putts to finish at 10-under 278 (72-68-67-71) and claim the two-shot victory.
 
"The main thing was my putting," said Hoey, 32. "I made virtually all the six to seven footers on the way in."

For the week, Hoey finished third in Greens in Regulation at 72.2 percent and 13th in Putts Per G.I.R. (1.728). He played his final 34 holes in 6 under.

Pro V1x loyalists Federico Colombo, Jose-Filipe Lima and Lloyd Saltman all finished tied for fourth place at 6-under 282.

A total of 111 players at the event trusted Titleist golf balls, more than five times the nearest competitor with 19 and more than all competitors combined.

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

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 8.5, A•1 SureFit Tour Setting (Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Kai'li 60)
3-wood: Titleist 910F 13.5, A•1 Setting (Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Kai'li 80)
Irons (3-P): AP2 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedge: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 54º, 58º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)

• PGA TOUR:  The winner of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial trusted a Pro V1 golf ball for his success, leading a 1-2-3-4-5-6 finish for Titleist golf ball players.

Pro V1 loyalist Charlie Wi shot a final-round 1-under 69 to finish at 14-under 266, one shot back of the winner.

Titleist Brand Ambassador Bo Van Pelt finished alone in third (10-under, 270), while defending champion and Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson was fourth (9-under, 271).



Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Karlsson and Pro V1x loyalist Chez Reavie tied for 5th at 8-under 272. 

Of the 15 players who finished in the top-10 at the event, 13 relied on a Titleist golf ball for their success.

A total of 84 players at the Crowne Plaza Invitational teed up Titleist golf balls, seven times the nearest competitor with 12 and more than all competitors combined.

• ONEASIA TOUR: Propelled by a course-record tying 8-under 64 in Round 2, Pro V1 loyalist Kurt Barnes won the SK Telecom Open by one shot over Titleist Brand Ambassador Kyung Tae Kim at Pinx Golf Club in South Korea.

Barnes, who turns 30 on Wednesday, posted a 14-under 202 total, good enough for a one-shot victory once the event was reduced to 54 holes due to weather. He shot a 5-under 67 in the third round.

Kim, a recent winner at the GS Caltrex Maekyung Open, shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 in Round 3. Nine of the top 11 players in the event played Titleist golf balls.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the SK Telecom Open with 113 players, more than 10 times the nearest competitor with 11 and more than all competitors combined.

• JAPAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Masanori Kobayashi captured his first-career Japan Tour victory at the inaugural Totoumi Hamamatsu Open.

Kobyashi won on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff, tapping his Pro V1x golf ball in for birdie on the par-5 18th hole at Grandee Hamanako Golf Club in Shizuoka Prefecture.

After starting the final round three shots back, Kobayashi closed with a 7-under 65 to finish regulation at 20-under 268.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Totoumi Hamamatsu Open with 65 players. Titleist also was first in hybrids (49); and sand, lob and approach wedges (112).

• LPGA TOUR: At the Sybase Match Play Championship, runner-up and Pro V1 loyalist Cristie Kerr was one of 46 players that played a Titleist golf, more than seven times the nearest competitor with six and more than all competitors combined.

• NATIONWIDE TOUR: Seven of the top 11 players at the BMW Charity Pro-Am were Titleist golf ball players, including runner-up and Pro V1x loyalist Sunghoon Kang.

In total, 123 players at the event trusted Titleist golf balls, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 15 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (47); sand, lob and approach wedges (164); and putters (82).

If you couldn't tell from the above video, Thursday's lunch break here at Team Titleist quickly turned into an Titleist golf ball-stacking competition.

Earlier in the day, we received an e-mail notifying us that Titleist golf balls would be featured this weekend on the popular television game show "Minute to Win It" with host Guy Fieri.

The episode, which airs May 23 on NBC (check your local listings), features a game called "Caddy Stack," in which the contestant must create a standing tower of three Titleist golf balls in 60 seconds or less.

Trust us, it's more difficult than it looks, even in front of two colleagues with only a candy bar on the line. (Nevermind a national television audience with thousands of dollars at stake.)

Go ahead, give it a shot. We'd love to see any pictures or video of your successes (or failures). You can post them at this link.

Earlier today at Acushnet Company's world headquarters in Fairhaven, Mass., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wally Uihlein made an important announcement concerning the future of Acushnet Company and our industry-leading Titleist and FootJoy brands.

We'd like to share all of the details now with Team Titleist.


It was about five months ago that we came to Team Titleist with the news that our parent company, Fortune Brands, Inc., had approved a plan for the sale or tax-free spin off of Acushnet Company.

This morning, Uihlein informed us that Fortune Brands has signed an agreement for the sale of the company to a group led by Fila Korea, Ltd., the owner of the Fila brand globally, and Mirae Asset Private Equity, the largest private equity firm in Korea.

Uihlein said Fila Korea and Mirae Asset will maintain Acushnet – one of the largest golf equipment companies in the world with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion in 2010 – as a standalone company, keeping the current management team in place and worldwide headquarters (pictured) in Fairhaven, Mass.

“The Acushnet Company has long been the trusted steward of two of golf’s most revered and iconic brands, and has perpetuated the longest running records of golf equipment success in the game,” said Uihlein.

“The Fila Korea and Mirae group understands and appreciates our golf industry leadership, passionate associates, and unique and enduring culture. Together, with our new owners, our team is looking forward to strengthening and building upon the global success of the Titleist and FootJoy brands.”

For more details on the acquistion, please see the press releases linked below from both Acushnet Company and Fortune Brands.

Acushnet Company Press Release (.pdf)
Fortune Brands Press Release (.pdf)

Bill Morgan, Senior Vice President of Titleist Golf Ball R&D, spoke in-depth about Titleist golf ball construction, technology and performance this morning on "Fairways of Life" with host Matt Adams on the PGA Tour Network on Sirius-XM radio.

You can listen to an audio replay by clicking the play button in the player below.



Morgan (pictured above) also took calls and answered questions from many listeners during the one-hour segment broadcast on Sirius 208 and XM 93.

Topics included:

• Performance characteristics of all Titleist golf balls;
• Design strategies and golf ball technology;
• Affects of swing speeds on golf ball selection; and
• Gaining distance vs. Lowering your score.

Earlier this month, Morgan joined Mary Lou Bohn, Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing and Titleist Communications, to discuss the facts about golf ball performance and fitting during a live Webcast on Team Titleist.

A replay of that broadcast is posted at this link.

We're looking forward to another great weekend for golf watching, jam-packed with birdies and brackets, and we'll also be keeping an eye on the galleries at this week's PGA Tour and LPGA events for the many Team Titleist members in attendance.

Team Titleist members Matthew T. and Tony G. won tickets to this week's PGA Tour's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial through Team Titleist and will be hanging outside the ropes in in Fort Worth, Texas, as Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson looks to make it two-in-a-row at Hogan's Alley.

Last year, Johnson didn't post a score worse than 66 at Colonial Country Club, shooting consecutive 6-under 64s on the weekend to earn his seventh PGA Tour victory by three shots as well as the champion's Tartan blazer.

His 21-under 259 total was a tournament record.

“This tournament is always high on my list of wanting to win. It always has been. It still is," said Johnson, whose name now appears along with Ben Hogan's on Colonial's Wall of Champions.

"Just because I won it once doesn’t mean I don’t want to win it again. I’ve become partial to that plaid."

TV coverage of the tournament is as follows (all times EST):
• Thursday, May 19: 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)
• Friday, May 20: 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)
• Saturday, May 21: 3-6 p.m. (NBC)
• Sunday, May 22: 3-6 p.m. (NBC)

For more information about the tournament or to purchase tickets, please visit http://crowneplazainvitational.com.

• • •

The LPGA's best have gathered at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J., for an exciting weekend of head-to-head action at the Sybase Match Play Championship.

Team Titleist members Dennis O., Ryan F., Ian D., Ryan M. and Glen F. won tickets to this event through Team Titleist and will be on hand to see who will emerge from the 64-player bracket.

"I love match play because you can be aggressive all the time and just play one hole like very focused," said Pro V1x loyalist Yani Tseng. "It's not like you're trying to beat the whole field, you just try to beat the person you play with.

"It's going to be a very fun week this week and I'm really looking forward to it."

TV coverage of the tournament on Golf Channel is as follows (all times EST):
• Thursday, May 19: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
• Friday, May 20: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
• Saturday, May 21: 4:30-7 p.m.
• Sunday, May 22: 4:30-7 p.m.

For more information about the tournament or to purchase tickets, please visit http://sybasematchplaychampionship.com.

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