With one foot in a lake, two hands on his Vokey Design Spin Milled wedge and the game's richest prize on the line, Titleist Brand Ambassador Bill Haas stood over his Titleist Pro V1x golf ball and hit one of the PGA Tour's all-time clutch shots Sunday afternoon at East Lake, propelling him to victories in both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup Playoffs.
On the second hole of an all-Titleist playoff with Pro V1x loyalist Hunter Mahan, Haas' approach shot hit the left side of the 17th green and dribbled to the edge of the lake, leaving about one-third of his ball sitting below the water line.
Haas never hesitated, trusting his Titleist golf ball and equipment would reward him for a great swing.
"We get up there and that's when I see the ball, and I say in my head, 'I have a shot,' " said Haas, who immediately pulled his Vokey Design Spin Milled 60•E (bent to 59º) wedge from his bag, hopped down the four-foot embankment, stuck one foot in the water and waggled his wedge over his Pro V1x.
"You play it like a bunker shot, for those of you that want to know, if there's a little bit of water, if you don't mind getting your feet dirty, and then blast it out of there," he said. "It came out perfect."
Haas' Pro V1x golf ball floated out of the lake, landed 3 feet past the hole, spun and stopped. (You can watch a replay in the video below.) He tapped in for par to halve the hole and extend the playoff.
"I won't forget it," said Haas, who also made a remarkable up-and-down from the right side of the 18th green to have the first playoff hole, sinking a downhill, bending 12-footer for par. "That's for sure."
About 15 minutes later, Haas executed another perfect stroke with his Scotty Cameron Kombi Mid putter, rolling in his Pro V1x from 5 feet for a two-putt par to win the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and all the perks and prizes (including $11.4 million) that go along with them.
Titleist golf ball players have now won over 70 percent (28 of 39) of events played this season on the PGA Tour, with 13 Titleist Brand Ambassadors combining for 16 of those victories.
Haas' victory was also one of six on the week for Titleist Pro V1x players, bringing the 2011 win total across the worldwide professional tours to 129, 108 more than the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all competitors combined.
At the Tour Championship, eight of the top 10 players on the final leader board trusted a Titleist golf ball for their success, with Haas and Mahan each finishing regulation at 8-under 272. Haas, who moved to No. 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking, was the only player to shoot four rounds in the 60s (68-67-69-68), leading the field with 22 birdies and 1.58 putts per green in regulation.
Luke Donald (Pro V1x) and Aaron Baddeley (Pro V1x) shared third place at 7-under 273. Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott (Pro V1) and Charles Howell III (Pro V1x) tied for sixth at 6-under 274, and Bo Van Pelt tied for ninth another shot back.
(Video courtesy PGATour.com)
Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Tour Championship with 20 players, five times the nearest competitor with four and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist also was first in fairway metals (11); iron sets (9); sand, lob and approach wedges (24); and putters (12).
Here's a closer look at Bill Haas' Titleist equipment:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D2 8.5º (Fujikura Speeder 757)
3-wood: Titleist 910F 13.5º (Fujikura Motore VC 8.1)
Irons: Titleist CB 2-P (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 54•10º, 60º•E (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Kombi Mid