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The Nordea Masters at the wonderfully named Bro Hof Slott Golf Club near Stockholm is this week's venue for the European Tour. Quite often on the Titleist Tour Blog we will deviate away from talking product in order to speak about our players or give our readers information on the host venue, course, conditions, etc. This week however, we make no excuses for the fact that we are talking nothing but product!!! And with good reason, as the new 712 series prototype irons have been a real talking point among the players on the range in Sweden this week.

The new 712 series prototypes first broke cover on the PGA Tour at the AT&T National where Titleist Ambassador Nick Watney put the new 712 AP2 straight in play and subsequently won the tournament. Since then, 712 has delivered another PGA Tour win for rookie Titleist Ambassador Chris Kirk, who claimed victory at The Viking Classic this past weekend. Now the 712 story will really begin on the European Tour, with the Nordea Masters being the first opportunity for most to experience the new irons. And, as was the case on the PGA Tour, the response to the four prototype 712 models from Titleist Ambassadors on the European Tour has been immediate and unanimously positive. Positive to the tune of 18 sets of 712 irons being put in play for this week's event!!! In addition, each one of the four 712 prototype iron models (AP1, AP2, CB & MB) are in play this week. Below is a list of those players who are trusting their game to a 712 series prototype irons:

> Robert Karlsson 712 MB
> Michael Jonzon 712 MB
> Scott Strange 712 AP2
> Michael Hoey 712 AP2
> Martin Wiegele 712 CB
> Phillip Price 712 AP1
> Kenneth Ferrie 712 CB
> Mark Haastrup 712 AP2
> Seve Benson 712 MB
> Bernd Wiesberger 712 CB
> Oscar Floren 712 MB
> Robert Dinwiddie 712 CB
> Joel Sjoholm 712 CB / MB
> Lloyd Saltman 712 MB
> Lee Slattery 712 CB
> Wade Ormsby 712 CB / MB
> Liam Bond 712 AP2
> Victor Dubuisson 712 MB

With such an incredible early response to the new 712 series irons it's a really exciting time to be on the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle and we're fully prepared for another busy week of 712 club fitting and club building at the Irish Open next week. Rest assured that the Titleist European Tour Blog will provide regular updates on this exciting range of prototype products in the weeks to come.

The 140th Open Championship

Aside from Ryder Cup years there is no doubt that Open week is the biggest event in the golfing calendar from a European perspective. The game's oldest championship is also the only major held on European soil and for any golf fanatic on this side of the Atlantic it gets no bigger than The Open Championship. Royal St George's (Sandwich) is the host venue for the 140th installment of this most illustrious event and this beautiful links course on England's South-East coast looks in stunning condition for it's 13th hosting of?an Open Championship.

In the entire history of this most famous of tournaments, seldom has it been harder to predict a winner. With such a depth of talent at Royal St George's from all four corners of the globe the tournament really is wide open. From a Titleist perspective our Open roster is also packed with an array of talent, each of whom have the game to prevail at Sandwich. Titleist Ambassador Rory McIlroy is an obvious contender following his success at the U.S. Open, winning a major by eight strokes and breaking tournament records tends to make you heavily fancied, but there are also a number of other Ambassadors from around the world that just could make their major breakthrough this week.

From Europe, young Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, fresh off a win at the BMW International Open in Munich could be one to watch. The mecurial Spaniard's swashbuckling style can sometimes land him in trouble but, when confident and on form with the putter he can make birdies in bundles and has already proved his winning mentality on the European Tour.

Another man to watch is South African Titleist Ambassador George Coetzee. The man from Pretoria is one of the longest hitters on the European Tour and over the past five events has quietly gone about posting a string of solid finishes, including a third place spot at the Barclays Scottish Open. With his game in great shape it would be no surprise to see George contend this week as he looks to emulate fellow countryman Louis Oosthuizen in lifting the famous Claret Jug.

Heading west to the U.S.A and there are two prime candidates to contend from the Titleist roster. The first of these is seasoned campaigner Steve Stricker who arrives at Royal St George's having completed a hat-trick of wins at the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour. The man known affectionately as 'Strick' has become one of the most consistent performers in world golf over the past few seasons and a major victory at The Open Championship would be both well deserved and no surprise. Another American hope who enters the week waiving the flag for Titleist is Rickie Fowler. If Steve Stricker is the archetypal experienced campaigner, Fowler is the very definition of a bright young thing and anyone who saw his Ryder Cup performance at Celtic Manor in 2010 knows how well he can perform under pressure. The exuberance of youth coupled with a steady nerve could make for the perfect combination as Rickie tees it up at Royal St Georges this week.

Finally in our Titleist league of nations comes young South Korean Ambassador Seung Yul Noh. Noh is the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner and, despite his tender years and soft spoken manner, he is nothing short of an assassin out on the golf course. Noh has been working through some swing changes recently with renowned coach Butch Harmon and his athletic move really does look every bit the swing of a major champion. Whether this will be Seung Yul's week only time will tell but here at Titleist we're tipping him for great things, whether now or in the near future.

Enjoy the action from this week's Open Championship and let's see if any of our bold predictions come to fruition. In the meantime, here are a few members of the Titleist roster gearing up for The Open in this week's slideshow.

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Barclays Scottish Open - In Pictures

With the 2011 Barclays Scottish Open now confined to the history books, we wanted to share some of the pictures from our week at the magnificent Castle Stuart Golf Course. It's a real shame that the weather played havoc with the event but there is no doubting the credentials of Castle Stuart as a European Tour venue and a great warm up for the Open Championship at Royal St. Georges this coming week.

There can also be no doubt as to the calibre of this weeks winner as Pro V1x loyalist Luke Donald reaffirmed his position at the top of the Official World Golf Rankings with yet another impressive victory. The smooth swinging Englishman will surely be among the favourites to lift the famous Claret Jug at Sandwich and, on current form, it's easy to make a case for Luke claiming a maiden major title at the Open Championship. Congratulations to Luke and good luck to all of our Titleist Ambassadors and golf ball loyalists at Royal St. Georges.

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