The PGA Tour has returned to Dublin, Ohio this week for the 36th edition of The Memorial Tournament. The demanding track at Muirfield Village is a favorite tour stop of the best players in the world,offering a challenging test of golf for those hoping to get their games in top shape heading into the U.S Open.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Erik Compton shot a 5-under 67 in the first round yesterday, one off the tournament lead. The Memorial is a special venue for the 33-year-old. Compton is the recipient of two heart transplants, and the donor of his second heart was a 26-year-old man named Isaac Klosterman, who was born in Dayton, Ohio and lived in Columbus at the time of his death. In 2009, one year after Compton received Klosterman's heart, tournament organizers extended Compton a sponsor's exemption to The Memorial. The invitation kick-started Compton's career on the PGA Tour.
“It’s just a great story, obviously, and … for me it’s a special place,” Compton said. “For me there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my donor. To be able to play here, regardless of whether I play good or bad, it’s just always a nice week".
The current lead is held by Compton's fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Stallings, who made one of only four birdies on the 18th hole at Muirfield Village for a 6-under 66 on Thursday, a great score considering the course is playing firm and fast this year.
"Obviously the golf course was much softer last year, (and) you had more opportunities to hit it close," Stallings said. "You kind of had to play away from some of the flags today. It was definitely the firmest I've ever seen it."
Both Scott and Erik will be relying on Titleist Pro V1x golf balls to manage the second-shot perils for which the 7,265-yard Muirfield layout is famous.
In total, 76 players in the Memorial field are trusting Titleist golf balls for their success, more than six times the nearest competitor with 12 and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist is also first in iron sets (34); sand, lob and approach wedges (145); and putters (47).
For a look at some of the Titleist players and equipment in this week’s field, take a look at Team Titleist’s slideshow from the practice rounds by clicking the image below.