One of the most gruelling tests in golf finished yesterday as the last of six rounds of European Tour Final Qualifying concluded at PGA Catalunya - and 25 of the 28 qualifiers relied on a Titleist golf ball for their success.

For those players that attended first and second round Q-School, in addition to Final Qualifying, 252 holes of golf have been completed for the top 25 and ties to secure their membership of the European Tour for 2013.

Amidst the stories of triumph and heartbreak in Spain, one that stands out is Titleist ambassador Chris Lloyd. The 20 year-old from Bristol missed the cut by a single shot at last year's Final Qualifying, but pulled out his A-Game with just four holes remaining this year.

As he stepped onto the 6th tee of the Stadium Course, his 15th hole, something special was required to gain his tour card. Fast-forward to the 18th and Lloyd had recorded three birdies in the final four hole stretch, ensuring that he finished in a tie for 16th place.

Speaking to Europeantour.com, Lloyd said, "“The big turning point for me was at six (where he chipped in after missing the green with his approach shot) and then I got up and down for birdie at the par five (seventh).

“I had made an eight on the ninth hole at the end of my fourth round and I got on the tee this time around and asked my caddy for a new ball. So he threw me a new ball and I looked at it and the number on it was eight! I started laughing on the tee and saw the funny side of it, which was good."


Other Titleist ambassadors to secure their tour cards for 2013 were Tano Goya of Argentina, Matthew Southgate of England, Michael Jonzon of Sweden, Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark and Oscar Floren of Sweden.

Of the 14 players who finished in the top 9 and ties, 13 were either Titleist ambassadors or Titleist golf ball loyalists. This included the winner, John Parry, who closed with a 2-under round of 70 to put four shots between himself and second place.


Again speaking to Europeantour.com, Parry said, “I’m delighted - I knew I had my card sewn up before today started, but I was going for the win and I’m happy to have got the job done."

Titleist ambassador Ricardo Santos has capped his breakthrough year on the European Tour by being announced as the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.

The 27 year old became the first Portuguese winner of the award after a whirlwind first season, which saw him capture his maiden European Tour title at the Madeira Islands Open and a top 10 finish at the Avantha Masters.

Interviewed by Europeantour.com, Ricardo said: "It’s an honour to become the first Portuguese player to win the Rookie of the Year award. When you look at some of the players who have won the award in the past, it’s a real privilege to see my name next to theirs on the trophy. It’s been an amazing season, and to end it be winning the award is more than I could have dreamed of."

Ricardo follows on from Titleist ambassador Matteo Manassero and Pro V1x loyalist Tom Lewis, who won the award in 2010 and 2011 respectively.


Continuing his interview with Europeantour.com, Ricardo explained, “The goal for 2013 is to win again on The European Tour, and to play my first Major. This award has given me the confidence to go and achieve my goals – although you only have one chance to win the Rookie of the Year, hopefully I can win many more titles in the future.”

Team Titleist congratulates Ricardo on his award and wishes him continued success for the 2013 season and beyond.

We had a great response to our Team Titleist "Six-Win Weekend" Sweepstakes this week and the winners have been randomly drawn from all of the correct answers.

The six lucky Team Titleist winners are:

  • Jamie Gordon of Inverness
  • Robert Watts of Gillingham
  • Steven Drake of Leeds
  • Ian Kinsey of Nottingham
  • Keith Broadfoot of Banff
  • Roger Amess of Stoke-on-Trent

Congratulations on winning an exclusive Team Titleist hat and your choice of a dozen Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf balls!

Stay tuned for more competitions and sweepstakes over the coming weeks!

Titleist ambassador Rory McIlroy holds up the Pro V1x he has trusted as he secured both money lists

With the Race To Dubai already concluded before they arrived in Dubai, players will be battling it out for the prize fund on offer at the Jumeirah Golf Estates at the DP World Tour Championship.

Titleist ambassador Rory McIlroy added the European money list to the US money list when he finished third at the Singapore Open two weeks ago - where fellow Titleist ambassador Matteo Manassero won and, in doing so, became the only teenager to win three European Tour events!

But as the players were arriving in Dubai, the Titleist leadership team was already hard at work. This is the first event on the European Tour for the seeding of the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x prototype golf balls to Titleist ambassadors and golf ball loyalists. See more about the seeding and performance validation process by clicking here.

Arriving fresh from his win at the Dunlop Pheonix, where he won with the new Pro V1x prototype ball, Titleist ball loyalist Luke Donald has got off to a fast start over the Earth Course, leading after a first round 7-under 63.

Other Titleist ball loyalists and ambassadors putting the new Pro V1x prototype golf ball into play this week include Michael Hoey, Louis Oostuizen and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Titleist Pro V1x loyalist Louis Oosthuizen's locker at Jumeirah Golf Estates earlier this week

As the European Tour season culminates in Dubai this weekend at the DP World Tour Championship, the delivery of plain white golf ball boxes to Titleist tour pros got underway at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The reason for the plain white boxes? This week marked the start of the tour seeding and performance validation process for the new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x prototype golf balls on the European Tour.

The Titleist leadership team was on hand to make sure that when each Titleist golf ball player opened their locker at the sumptuous Jumeirah Golf Estates there was a surprise waiting for them.

Titleist's Jonathan Loosemore chats with Pro V1x loyalist Peter Lawrie about the prototype golf balls

But that's just the start of the process. The leadership team is then on hand to talk to each player about the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, their performance characteristics and to talk about how to continue the testing process.

This performance validation from the world's best players is a hugely important step - it's one of the final checkpoints along the way to launching a new product.

Titleist ambassador Michael Hoey and Jonathan Loosemore talk about the golf ball evaluation process

One of the first players to get their hands on the new Pro V1x prototype golf balls was Titleist ambassador Michael Hoey (pictured above and below). And they clearly made an impression, as Michael put them straight into play in Dubai.

Michael gets down to the business of testing the new Pro V1x prototypes on the course

Commenting on the process, Jonathan Loosemore, Titleist's director of leadership promotion, says: "This stage in the launch of new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls is critical to making sure that the performance criteria we have for those products has been achieved. 

"We'll work with the players this week, over the off-season and again in January when the European Tour season re-starts, making sure that they continue to have the best ball for their game."

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