Already a landmark annual event for the best amateurs from around the world, the playing of the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship has a bit more historical context for the competitors this year at The Country Club at Brookline.

You see, it is the same course where a 20-year old named Francis Ouimet, one of the game's most legendary amateurs, made his epic charge to a U.S. Open championship exactly 100 years ago this September.

In the field of 312 golfers looking to take top amateur honors this year, 246 players are trusting Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls for their success, more than six times the nearest competitor with 38 and more than three times all competitors combined.

Titleist also leads the field across all major club categories including drivers (113), fairway metals and hybrids (195), iron sets (123), approach, sand and lob wedges (410) and putters (114).

As the week unfolds and the competition moves from medal play to match play, one amateur will stand atop the field on Sunday and add his name to the record books at the historic Country Club.

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The U.S. Amateur Championship is just one of several marquee national amateur events where the top competitive amateur players in the world put their trust in Titleist. Throughout the year, Titleist has proven to be the golf ball of choice at these prestigious events:

Leading up to the final majors of 2013, Team Titleist caught up with Jason Dufner on the range at the Travelers Championship and, as always, Jason was kind enough to take some time out for us and share some insight on a variety of topics – including what it would mean to him to become a major champion.

"I feel like I've established myself as a guy who can compete out here and play in the big events. To win one of those events would be a lifelong dream, and a crowning achievement on my career," said Jason.

Fast forward a few weeks and after a historic run at Oak Hill Country Club, Jason’s name will forever be inscribed on the Wanamaker Trophy and it is a dream come true.

Congratulations, Jason!

#TeamTitleist

For Titleist Brand Ambassador Jason Dufner, it was certainly a week to remember at the PGA Championship and it went something like this…

Thursday: Get off to a solid start and put yourself in prime position.

Friday: Set a new course record, join the elite group of players to fire a 63 during a major championship and climb to the top of the leaderboard.

Saturday: Keep the nerves in check and continue the steady play.

Sunday: Put on a display of precision shot making skill, keep the field at bay, hoist the Wanamaker Trophy and add your name to the history books.

Trusting his Pro V1 golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment including a new set of AP2 prototype irons (714 series), Jason went on to post a 10-under par 270 total (68 - 63 - 71 - 68) at historic Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY to claim his his first career major championship victory.

“For me to be competitive on this type of golf course, I felt like I had to have a great week ball‑striking and I was able to do it.  I hit a lot of fairways,” Dufner said after the round. “When I did hit the fairways, I hit a ton of greens, and that was the difference for me.”

Jason started the final round on Sunday one shot off the lead, but he routinely found the center cut of the fairway on a very narrow set up at Oak Hill Country Club and steadied his sights on the pins as he hit one green in regulation after another. Keeping himself in near perfect position throughout the round, he continued to apply pressure to the field as he reclaimed the lead on the eighth hole and never looked back.

“It was a tough test for me,” Dufner said. “My name will always be on this trophy, and nobody can take that away from me, so it's a great accomplishment for me and I'm really excited about it.”

Jason joins Titleist Brand Ambassador and 2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott as a first-time major champion during the 2013 PGA Tour season. The win also marks the 90th victory for Titleist golf ball players on the worldwide professional tours in 2013, nearly three times the nearest competitor with 31 and more than all other competitors combined.

Of the 156-player field, 87 players relied upon Titleist golf balls, more than three times the nearest competitor with 24.

Titleist is also the top choice in the iron (41) and sand, lob and approach wedge (142) categories.

What’s in Jason Dufner’s bag?: Titleist Pro V1 golf ball, 910D2 driver (9.5º),  913F fairway metal (13.5º), 913F.d Low Spin fairway metal (18º), 913H hybrid (19º), AP2 prototype irons  (714 series) (4-PW), Vokey Design SM4 56.14 (bent to 54º) sand wedge and TVD K-grind lob (60º) wedge, Scotty Cameron by Titleist Circa 62 #6 putter.

Equipment Notes from the PGA Championship…

Leading up to the PGA Championship, Jason continued to work closely with the Titleist Tour Support team to dial in his equipment which included a transition to a new set of AP2 prototype irons (714 series) at the WGC event at Firestone a week earlier. In an interview with Team Titleist at Firestone, he commented on the new and improved sole design and bounce configuration, which resulted in an improved turf interaction.

Jason was one of 15 players in the PGA Championship field who put a set of new prototype irons in play. Titleist Brand Ambassadors Tim Clark (CB) and Marc Leishman (MB) were among the players who put the irons in play for the first time at Oak Hill.

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Web.Com: Andrew Svoboda, relying on his Pro V1x golf ball, fired an 8-under 64 in Sunday’s final round to win the 24th annual Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr. Pepper and earn his first career title.

Following the round which saw Andrew hit all eighteen greens and ten of the fourteen fairways, Svoboda told reporters, “I knew I had to go low,” he said. “I knew it was going to be at least 20-under.”

Svoboda reached 20-under, and kept going lower: “I knew what was going on,” Andrew said in an interview. “When I got to 20 I thought I wanted to get to 22. When I did that, I just made sure to make pars down the stretch.”

Of the 156-player field, 109 players relied upon Titleist golf balls, nearly six times the nearest competitor with 19 and more than all competitors combined.

At 57 years old, Titleist Staff Professional Kirk Hanefeld thought he might be the oldest contestant participating in this week's PGA Championship at Oak Hill, that is, until he looked at the field list and saw fellow Titleist golf ball loyalist and 8-time major champion Tom Watson's name. Watson is seven years Hanefeld's elder, but still going strong on the Champions Tour and at major championships.

After nagging injuries for the better part of two years, Hanefeld jokingly said he only feels the oldest, pointing out his set composition that includes his new CB prototype iron set that starts at the 6 and goes through 9, with four Vokey Design wedges (48º, 52º, 56º, 60º). He also carries a 913D2 driver, a 15-degree fairway metal and three hybrids. He plays the Pro V1x golf ball.

"I am really looking forward to this week to get the competitive juices flowing again, because I really haven't had an opportunity to play a lot over the last couple of years," said Hanefeld, who has suffered through a combination of neck and back injuries to the point that "I didn't have any feeling in my shoulder last December."

He rebounded in June when he qualified for the PGA Championship by finishing in a ninth place tie at the 2013 PGA Professional National Championship. "That was probably the first time I felt comfortable in a long time and I played fairly well."

This year mark's the second PGA Championship start of Hanefeld's career - 23 years after his debut at Shoal Creek in 1990. That's not say he has been idle for more than two decades. In fact, he has won multiple Senior PGA Professional National titles, finished tied for 19th to claim Low PGA Club Professional honors at the 2006 Senior PGA Championship, and was the 2008 Senior PGA Professional of the Year. He has participated in 55 events on the Champions Tour since becoming eligible in 2006 when he finished runner-up at the National Qualifying Tournament.

Hanefeld has some familiarity with Oak Hill, having participated in the Senior PGA Championship when it was contested here in 2008. He does not expect it to play quite as difficult as it did five years ago, however, when fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Jay Haas won the event with a 7-over par 287 total. There were just 12 individual rounds under par for the week and the winning score was the highest in Senior PGA Tour history, and the second highest winning score in Champions Tour history. Hanefeld stood tied for 4th place after a first round 71 and was still in contention on the weekend before a Sunday 76 dropped him to a tie for 34th place.

"The conditions were extremely difficult, but it was a great experience," said Hanefeld. "Especially to be in contention with players like Jay Haas and Bernhard Langer (who finished second). I remember meeting Billy (Haas) that week, when he was here following his father."

When Hanefeld puts the tee in the ground for his first drive at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, he will be ready to give it a go against the world’s best golfers and plans to bring his veteran wisdom to his approach.

"I don't plan to try and keep up with these young guys off the tee, I know they are all long hitters and great ball strikers," said Hanefeld. "I am going to just go out and play my game, play smart, and try and hit fairways and greens. I can't wait to get started." 

Tips from TPI: Shaping Shots

Thick rough and tree-lined fairways frame Oak Hill’s challenging East Course, and with its classic design, the course will demand precision from all players in this week’s PGA Championship field.

So what is one of the keys to getting around a layout like this? The ability to work the ball and shape your shots.

Team Titleist checked in with Dave Phillips, co-founder of the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), to get a few tips on how we can refine our shot making skills to help all of us add a couple of go-to shots to our bag.

So if you’re looking to dial in your draw, check out the video above. And if you want to add that controlled cut shot to your repertoire, hit play on the video below.

Don’t forget to check out the new MyTPI.com for even more great tips and advice for your game.

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