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Aloha, Team Titleist! We're coming to you straight from the range at the Plantation Course at Kapalua as the 2013 PGA Tour Season kicks into gear with the season opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
The field is stacked and the players are ready to get back to work. Here are some early notes as we look forward to the start of the season...
Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker is seeking to defend his 2012 Tournament of Champions title after firing four consecutive rounds in the 60's en route to a three shot win and 23-under par 269 victory total. Stricker leads a group 20 Titleist golf ball loyalists, including nine Brand Ambassadors who will be competing in the winners-only event. He was one of 23 players to win a combined 29 times on the 2012 PGA Tour with a Titleist golf ball, more than seven times the nearest competitor with four.
The Plantation Course at Kapalua is a par 73, measuring 7,452 yards. At 68.963, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions featured the lowest final round scoring average of 2012.
Jason Dufner and Titleist golf ball loyalist Rickie Fowler will be the first on the tee to start the 2013 PGA Tour season Friday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The duo is set to tee off in the season opener at 10:35 a.m. local time.
Dufner, who secured his first two career wins in 2012 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the HP Byron Nelson Championship, is in a virtual tie for 8th place in the Official World Golf Rankings with Masters champion Bubba Watson. They are the highest world ranked players participating this week.
Dufner also enters the tournament owning the longest active consecutive cut streak at 21. That will be extended to 22 as the Hyundai Tournament of Champions is a no-cut event.
Fowler earned his first career PGA TOUR title and a trip to Kapalua after winning the Wells Fargo Championship in a three-way playoff.
Joining Dufner, Fowler, Watson and Stricker on the Titleist tee sheet this week are Brand Ambassadors Ben Curtis (Valero Texas Open), Bill Haas (Northern Trust Open), Zach Johnson (Crowne Plaza Invitational, John Deere Classic), Marc Leishman (Travelers Championship), Scott Piercy (RBC Canadian Open), Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Scott Stallings (True South Classic), as well as golf ball loyalists Jonas Blixt(Frys.com Open), J.J. Henry (Reno-Tahoe Open), John Huh (Mayakoba Golf Classic), Hunter Mahan (WGC-Accenture Match Play, Shell Houston Open), Ian Poulter (HSBC Tournament of Champions), Johnson Wagner (SONY Open in Hawaii) and Mark Wilson (Humana Challenge).
A total of 3,773 players teed up a Titleist on the 2012 PGA Tour, more than six times the nearest competitor with 602.
In addition to its winning golf ball (29) success, Titleist players also combined to lead the 2012 PGA TOUR in victories across every major equipment category for the second consecutive year, including drivers (17), fairway metals (17), hybrids (8), irons (18), wedges (23) and putters (17).