Posted: December 20, 2012
Titleist Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson's victory at John Deere Classic turned out to be anything but routine.
After four rounds of solid play at TPC Deere Run, Zach, the local favorite, found himself in a playoff with fellow Pro V1x loyalist Troy Matteson. On the first playoff hole, both players found the water and ended up making bogeys to force another hole of sudden death.
While Troy found the middle of the fairway with his tee shot, Zach ended up in a fairway bunker with 195 yards left to the hole.
“I hit a 6-iron, just a good full backswing with an abbreviated follow through. And just tried to get down on the golf ball,” said Johnson. "It landed middle of the green, maybe towards the back third… and released obviously quite a ways after it ricocheted off the bank.”
Once his Pro V1x settled, Zach sent his putt to the bottom of the cup to capture the title and cap his most memorable shot of 2012.
“When you had to execute a shot in a difficult circumstance, especially when your opponent is in the middle of the fairway. That’s the one that stands out,” said Johnson.
Watch the above video to hear Zach’s take on the shot.
Stay tuned for our next installment of the Team Titleist 2012 Shots of the Year and check out some of the earlier highlights below.
Team Titleist Shots of the Year: Louis Oosthuizen Edition
Team Titleist Shots of the Year: Rickie Fowler Edition
Team Titleist Shots of the Year: Jason Dufner Edition
Posted: December 18, 2012
On the PGA Tour, there might not be a more difficult test of nerves than coming down the stretch on a Sunday, in contention, trying to hold off the 70-plus players battling for the spot atop the leader board, all while trying to win your first tournament.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Jason Dufner spoke to Team Titleist about what was running through his mind as he faced that kind of challenge earlier this year at the Zurich Classic.
After hitting his tee shot into the water, Dufner steadied his nerves, walked up to his Pro V1 golf ball with a Vokey wedge in hand and landed his approach shot 50 feet from the hole.
While he admits to having some less-than-positive thoughts initially running through his head, that all changed as he stepped up to his 50 footer.
“It just happened to be in a spot that I had been in previously the year before. Pretty similar, probably within probably two paces of where I putted from the year before,” said Dufner.
“I made the putt the year before and for whatever reason I knew that put was going to go in on that 16th hole.”
That shot ended up being the difference maker for Dufner. He made it into the playoff and went on to win the tournament to secure his first career victory on tour and kickstart a season that included two wins, eight top-10 finishes and 21 cuts made in 22 tournaments.
Hear more from Jason in the video above and stay tuned for even more Team Titleist Shots of the Year.
And don’t forget to check out the earlier installments below.
Posted: December 17, 2012
As we continue to inch closer to the end of the year, players across the worldwide professional tours are still grinding out wins and putting together some impressive rounds of golf. This past weekend featured a breakout win for Titleist Brand Ambassador Daniel Popovic at the Australian PGA Championship along with Angel Cabrera's stellar victory with the new Pro V1x prototype golf ball on his home soil at the Visa Open de Argentina.
And on the Asian Tour, Pro V1x loyalist Thaworn Wiratchant secured the Asian Tour's Order of Merit for the second time in his career.
Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have now won 190 times across the worldwide professional tours in 2012, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 25 and more than all competitors combined.
ONEASIA/AUSTRALASIAN (CO-SANCTIONED): Titleist Brand Ambassador Daniel Popovic (Pro V1) won the Australian PGA Championship for his first professional victory. Popovic closed with consecutive 3-under par 69's en route to a 16-under 272 victory total, four shots clear of two players, including Pro V1x loyalist Anthony Brown. A rookie, Popovic was the medalist at last year's qualifying school.
What's in Daniel Popovic's Bag?
Golf Ball: Pro V1Driver: 913D2 driver (9.5º)Fairway: 913F fairway metal (15º)Irons: AP2 irons (3-9)Wedges: Vokey Design pitching (48º), gap (54º) and lob (60º) wedges
Thirteen of the 16 players who finished among the top 10 and ties at the event relied upon a Titleist golf ball for their success.
Titleist was the top choice in the golf ball category with 120 players in the field of 156, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 17. Titleist was also the field favorite in the iron (84) and sand, lob and approach wedge (219) categories.
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PGA TOUR LATINOAMÉRICA: Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera captured the season-ending 107 Visa Open de Argentina by four shots relying upon the new Titleist Pro V1x prototype golf ball. Cabrera closed with an 8-under par 64 en route to an 18-under par 270 victory total.
Also finding immediate success with the new Pro V1x prototype was Miguel Carballo, who tied for second with Oscar Fraustro (Pro V1x), giving Titleist golf ball loyalists the top three positions on the leaderboard.
Titleist was the top choice in the golf ball category with an overwhelming 125 players in the field of 144, nearly nine times the nearest competitor with 14.
Cabrera becomes the fourth player to win with a new Titleist Pro V1 or Pro Vx prototype golf ball since the seeding process began on the PGA TOUR in October. He joins Adam Scott (Australian Masters), Luke Donald (Dunlop Phoenix) and Hiroyuki Fujita (Japan Series JT Cup) in the new golf ball winners’ circle.
ASIAN TOUR: At the weather-shortened Iskandar Johor Open in Johor, Malaysia, Titleist Brand Ambassador Jonathan Moore fired a final round 61 to finish alone in second place at 15-under. Moore’s fantastic finish saw him jump into the top ten on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit.
Thaworn Wiratchant (Pro V1x) earned the Asian Tour's Order of Merit for the second time in his career after finishing with a 7-under-par 65 to tie for fifth place. He first won the tour's Order of Merit in 2005.
Titleist was the top choice in the golf ball category with 71 players in the field of 120, more than three times the nearest competitor with 20. Titleist was also the field favorite in the iron (31) and sand, lob and approach wedge (95) categories.
Seven of the top 10 finishers relied upon a Titleist golf ball for their success at the Asian Tour’s season-ending event.
EUROPEAN TOUR: At the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa, Titleist was the clear choice of more players in the field of 156 in the golf ball category with 108, six times the nearest competitor with 18.
A Senior Compliance Engineer at Titleist Ball Plant III in New Bedford, Mass., by day, Eric Lastowka can now add "One of the World's Longest Drivers" to his title. Competing for the first time in the Senior Division of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship in Mesquite, Nev., the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Lastowka outdrove the field of 63 players with his 355-yard drive and hoisted the trophy high. Really high.
“This is the ultimate,” said Lastowka following his victory. “I’ve had a lot of close calls in the Open Division in the past (runner-up in 2006, 8th place in 2001), but this is why I continue in this sport. There are so many good hitters that it always takes your best to win. Now that I have won, it gives me even more motivation to repeat next year.”
The week-long event started with 64 Senior Division participants, which was reduced to 16 on the first day. Lastowka advanced after winning his first three rounds with tape measure drives of 379, 360 and 391 yards, respectively. The weather in Mesquite is always a factor, and Lastowka took advantage, winning his next two matches with downwind blasts of 426 and 403 yards.
The wind turned on the final day, however, and was dead in the face of the participants. Lastowka won his first match with a 333-yard drive, setting up his winning 355-yarder that was not without drama. His opponent had the final drive, which hit the grid and rolled to 349 yards while Lastowka and the boisterous crowd held their collective breath.
The secret to Lastowka's success?
“My success this year is based on being in good physical shape,” said Lastowka. “I have spent a considerable amount of time over the years participating in the Acushnet Wellness program, and it does pay off. I have focused on the cross-fit style workouts with the fitness coaches that the company provides its associates. It is very challenging, but rewarding.”
Lastowka also attended the first level of the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certification program this year, where he absorbed a wealth of information about the golf swing and fitness.
The event will be packaged into a 90-minute highlights feature and aired on the ESPN networks on Dec. 23 and 30.
Posted: December 10, 2012
The high winds at the Australian Open may have caused some delays, but for Pro V1 loyalist Peter Senior it was well worth the wait. Battling the challenging conditions, Senior closed with an even par 72 to finish with a 4-under 284 victory total, becoming the oldest champion (53 years old) in the history of the Australian Open. The win was his first since the 2010 Australian PGA Championship.
Joining Senior in the winners' circle, Pro V1x loyalist Ariel Cañete took home top honors at the Olivos Golf Classic and claimed his second victory of the season on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica.
Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have now won 188 times across the worldwide professional tours in 2012, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 25 and more than all competitors combined.
Senior, a native of Australia and a regular on the Champions Tour, had 10 top-10 finishes this year, but no wins. The win was even more special for Senior as he was able to share the experience with his son Mitch.
''It doesn't get any better than this,'' Senior said. ''We've had three years on the Champions Tour where Mitch has caddied for me for the last two years. We've lost three playoffs, so it feels unbelievable to win with him on the bag.'' (Click here to watch the Golf Channel Tour Report)
As for the conditions, Sunday morning featured wind gusts that topped 50 mph - causing one television tower to fall - and players also were greeted to golf balls that struggled to come to rest on the fairways and greens as the wind howled.
"It was probably one of the toughest days I've ever seen on a golf course," said Senior.
Titleist was the top choice of more players in the Australian Open field of 156 in the golf ball category with 116, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 20. Nine of the 13 players who finished among the top 10 and ties relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.
PGA TOUR LATINOAMÉRICA: Ariel Cañete led a Titleist Pro V1x 1-2-3 finish at the Olivos Golf Classic where he posted a pair of 4- under par 67s on Sunday en route to a come from behind win. Cañete finished with a 9-under-par 275 victory total to earn his second title on the 2012 Latinoamérica Tour and seventh top-10 finish in the tour's first year. A first round weather delay pushed play back a day and the final 36 holes were played on Sunday.
Clodomiro Carranza and Jose Cóceres, who relied upon the new Titleist Pro V1x prototype golf ball, shared second place, two shots behind Cañete.
Titleist was the top choice of 121 players, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 16.
ASIAN TOUR: Playing the new Titleist Pro V1x prototype golf ball, Bubba Watson shot a final-round 65 at the Thailand Golf Championship to tie for second. Pro V1x loyalist Thitiphun Chuayprakong joined Watson in the runner-up position, as seven of the top 10 finishers trusted a Titleist golf ball for their success.
In total, 78 players in the field played a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, more than three times the nearest competitor with 22 and more than all competitors combined.