Two days before his 18th birthday, Titleist Brand Ambassador Matteo Manassero captured his second European Tour victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open, leading a 1-2-3 finish for Titleist Brand Ambassadors at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
Manassero's win also set up a Sunday sweep of the weekend's biggest events for Titleist Brand Ambassadors and Pro V1x golf ball players, with Titleist Brand Ambassador Brendan Steele winning the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio later in the day for his first PGA Tour victory.
Titleist golf ball players have now won 36 times across the worldwide professional tours in 2011, more than four times the nearest competitor with eight and more than all competitors combined.
In total, 4,575 players have played Titleist golf balls in competition across the worldwide professional tours this season, more than six times the nearest competitor with 743 and more than all competitors combined.
Here's a closer look at the victories by Manassero and Steele:
• Officially, Manassero's Sunday victory at 17 years and 363 days old, just 175 days after he become the youngest champion in European Tour history at the Castello Masters last October.
• Said Manassero: “It feels amazing - it’s a great achievement. As I always say I could never have expected it all to have one win before I was 18 and now I’ve got two. … It’s great to be able to celebrate (my birthday and the victory) together. I’m just now concentrating on being in the top 50 now and getting into all the majors. I’m very happy about this achievement.”
• Manassero finished at 16-under 272 (66-71-67-68), tapping in his Titleist Pro V1x golf ball in for par on No. 18 for a one-shot victory over Titleist Brand Ambassador Gregory Bourdy (71-69-66-67--273). Titleist Brand Ambassador Rory McIlory (69-64-72-69--274) finished alone in third.
• Manassero, Bourdy and McIlroy all trusted Pro V1x golf balls for their success, combining for 18 birdies and an eagle over the final 18 holes. In total, 96 players in the field played Titleist golf balls, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 20 and more than all competitors combined.
• All 42 clubs in the bags of Manassero, Bourdy and McIlroy were Titleist, including a total of three Titleist 910 drivers, four 910F fairway metals and three 910H hybrids.
• Manassero – who plays a Titleist 910D2 9.5º driver (Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7 shaft) with his SureFit Tour hosel set at D•1 (-.75º less loft, standard lie) – finished second for the week in Driving Accuracy (76.8 percent). He ranks sixth overall on the European Tour in that statistic at 70.4 percent (138 of 196 fairways).
• He also finished first for the week in Greens in Regulation (84.7 percent) and is currently third overall on the European Tour at 78.2 percent (197 of 252 greens).
Here's a closer look at Manassero's Titleist equipment:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D2 9.5, D•1 SureFit Tour Setting (Project X Graphite Tour Issue 6A4)
3-wood: Titleist 910F 13.5, B•1 Setting (Project X Graphite Tour Issue 7A3)
Hybrid: Titleist 909H 17.0 (Project X Graphite Tour Issue HC1)
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 20.0, A•1 Setting (Project X Graphite Tour Issue HC1)
Irons (4-P): AP2 (Project X Steel)
Wedge: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 52•08 (Project X Steel)
Wedge: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled TVD58 (Dynamic Gold Spinner)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport Timeless GSS Prototype
• To win the Valero Texas Open, Steele overcame treacherous Texas winds and talented field at TPC San Antonio to win his first PGA Tour event in only his 12th-career start.
• Steele, who turned 28 on April 5, used his Vokey Design Spin Milled TVD58º wedge to get up-and-down from behind the 18th green, rolling in his Pro V1x golf ball from 8 feet for par on No. 18 to secure a one-shot victory. He finished at 8-under 280 (69-72-68-71), one shot ahead of two players including Titleist Brand Ambassador Charley Hoffman (68-73-72-68--281).
• Said Steele of his final putt: "Just an outrush of emotion there. I couldn't believe that I had actually done it. It was one of those kind of things. You thought about it as a kid and in high school and everything, this putt is to win a PGA Tour event, this putt is whatever, and you actually have a putt to do that and you actually make it. I mean there's so many times in this game when you don't do what you want or you don't make the putt that you need or you don't hit the shot that you need to hit. It's really something when you pull it off."
• Steele is only the fourth rookie to ever win the Valero Texas Open. He earned his 2011 PGA Tour card by winning last November's Nationwide Tour Championship, where he needed at least a fourth-place finish to qualify via the 2010 Nationwide Tour money list.
• For the week, Steele tied for second in Birdies (17) and Putts Per Round (26.0), best keeping his wits during an overwhelmingly-windswept week that resulted in the highest winning score in tournament history and so far this year on the PGA Tour.
• He was also one of 104 players in the field that played a Titleist golf ball at TPC San Antonio, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 12 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also was first in Iron Sets (41); Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (130); and Putters (58).
Here's a closer look at Steele's Titleist equipment:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 909D2 9.5 (Oban Devotion 6 65)
Hybrid: Titleist 909H 21.0 (Oban Devotion 8 85 Hybrid)
Irons (5-PW): 710 MB (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 52º, TVD58º, 60º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
• NATIONWIDE TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Daniel Chopra's third-round 9-under 61 eventually landed him in the winner's circle at the Fresh Express Classic, as fog cancelled the final round Sunday at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif.
Chopra rolled his new Pro V1x golf ball in for six birdies and two eagles during Saturday's round to finish at 9-under 198 (68-69-61), one shot clear of two players including Titleist Brand Ambassador Luke List (67-68-64--199). Titleist Brand Ambassador Erik Compton (67-71-64-202) and Pro V1x loyalists Doug LaBelle II (66-69-67--202) and Mathew Goggin (67-66-69--202) were among the group that shared fourth place.
A total of 111 players at TPC Stonebrae trusted Titleist golf balls, nearly seven times the nearest competitor with 16 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist also was first in Iron Sets (43): Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (148); and Putters (65).
• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am with 53 players, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 11.
• JAPAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Token Homemate Cup with 58 players, more than double the nearest competitor with 26. Titleist also was first in Hybrids (41), including 22 new 910H models; and Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (110).