Tied for the lead in the 17th fairway Sunday at the Viking Classic, Titleist Brand Ambassador Chris Kirk stood over his Titleist Pro V1x golf ball with a new Prototype Titleist CB (712 Series) 9-iron waggling in his hands.

 Kirk knew the distance was perfect (140 yards), no matter the dangerous pin position, tucked just over a pond in the front right corner of the green.

"It was 140 yards and it was a 9-iron, so I was aiming right at the pin and nowhere else," he told PGATour.com. "That was my only thought."

His Pro V1x never left the flagstick, landing 4 feet from the cup. Kirk grabbed his Scotty Cameron Del Mar putter and tapped in for the birdie that propelled him to his first PGA Tour victory, one of three wins on the weekend for Titleist golf ball players around the globe.

So far in 2011, Titleist golf ball players have combined for 92 victories across the worldwide professional tours, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all other golf balls combined.

Trusting his Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment, Kirk shot four rounds in the 60s (67-67-64-68) at Annandale Golf Club to finish with a tournament-record 22-under total, one shot ahead of two players including Titleist Brand Ambassdor Tom Pernice Jr.

Titleist Brand Ambassadors Hunter Haas and Bud Cauley both closed with 5-under 67s to tie for fourth.

 A PGA Tour rookie, Kirk became the second player in three weeks to find the winner's circle on the PGA Tour gaming a set of prototype Titleist irons (CB), following Titleist Brand Ambassador Nick Watney's victory using new Prototype Titleist AP2 irons at the AT&T National, where the seeding and tour validation process for the 712 Series irons began. Pernice Jr. also had new Prototype AP2 irons in his bag this week at Annandale.

Like many players, Kirk got his first look at the new prototype irons that Tuesday at AT&T National. A day later, Kirk was on the Titleist Tour Van asking the team if they could ship his previous set of irons home.

Kirk, who went on to finish tied for eighth that week at Aronimink Golf Club, called the irons "awesome" after his initial testing session. He liked the look and feel of the new Prototype CBs and said they felt "faster through the turf."

This week at the Viking Classic, Kirk led the field in birdies with 23, eight of those coming in his bogey-free 8-under 64 in Round 3. Kirk, who finished tied for second earlier this season at the Shell Houston Open, totaled just four bogeys for the entire week.

Kirk was one of 88 players at the Viking Classic that played a Titleist golf ball more than six times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (36), including 18 sets of the new Prototype Titleist (712 Series) irons;  sand, lob and approach wedges (109); and putters (51).

Here's a closer look at Chris Kirk's Titleist equipment:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 910D3 9.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 63)

3-wood: Titleist 906F4 13.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 83)

5-wood: Titleist 909H 19º (Project X XHB6)
Irons: Titleist Prototype CB 3-9 (True Temper Dynamic Gold)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 48•10º, 54•14º, TVD60º (True Temper Dynamic Gold)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Del Mar

 


ONEASIA TOUR:  Pro V1x loyalist Thaworn Wiratchant won the Indonesia Open for his first title on the OneAsia Tour and his 15th title in the Asia region.

 Wiratchant closed with a 1-over par 73, chipping his Pro V1x to within inches on the 18th hole to secure a one-shot victory at 13-under 275 and avoid a sudden-death playoff with three players: Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jin-ho Choi, Michael Hendry and Pro V1x loyalist Rory Hie.

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 123 players, more than fifteen times the nearest competitor with eight and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in fairway metals (56); hybrids (60); and iron sets (65).  Titleist was second in drivers (43), including 35 910D2 or 910D3 drivers; and putters (36).

• CANADIAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Tom Hoge made history at the Canadian Tour Players Cup as a Monday qualifier, shooting four rounds in the 60s for a two-shot victory.

Hoge, who played his college golf at TCU, became the first player in Canadian Tour history to advance through a Monday qualifier and then win the event since the tour began in 1986.

And to think, Hoge almost missed his Monday qualifier tee time because someone had given him wrong directions to the course.

"It's kinda crazy that I was 10 minutes away from almost missing the qualifier and now here I am," said Hoge, who closed with a 6-under 66 for a 16-under 268 total and his first professional victory.

"I played great along the way and it has been a lot of fun with all of the support from the fans and volunteers, it has been a great week," he said.

With the victory, Hoge earns a two-year exemption on the Canadian Tour as well as an invitation into the field at this week's RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour.



THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at The Open Championship with 99 players, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all competitors combined.

The winner of the event played a Scotty Cameron R&D Prototype Concept 1 putter, also known as the "Tour Rat."

Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler earned his first top-5 finish in a major championship, playing the new Prototype Titleist MB irons for the first time in competition.

Titleist was also first in hybrids (23); iron sets (45); and sand, lob and approach wedges (141).

NATIONWIDE TOUR: At the Chiquita Classic, 110 players relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 15 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist also was first in iron sets (50); sand, lob and approach wedges (156); and putters (64).

There's nothing quite like an Open Championship.

Case in point: Titleist Brand Ambassador Gary Woodland's tee shot Friday on the downwind 419-yard par-4 fifth hole at Royal St. George's, brought to our attention thanks to a Tweet from golf writer Scott Michaux.

Gary's Pro V1 golf ball sailed over the green, which is one way of avoiding all of the dangers links golf and Royal St. George's (pot bunkers, tight fairways, fescue grass, etc.) have to offer.

"I feel like you keep it around level par this week you're going to have a good chance," Titleist Brand Ambassador Rory McIlroy told the media after Round 1.

Of course, Open Championships also make for fantastic scenery...

Check out the slideshow below for some great photos from the days leading up to the start of the tournament, many of them thanks to our friends in the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle. (Other photos by Getty Images.)

Enjoy the weekend!

 

Titleist South East Asia Club Fitting Manager Shaun Moulds takes some time to answer 5 of the questions posted by Team Titleist members over the last few weeks. Thanks to everyone who submitted a question. For those not answered here, Shaun will be getting back to you on the discussion thread over the next few days. 

 

Golf's oldest championship celebrates its 140th birthday this week with Titleist, the #1 ball in golf, once again at the forefront.

Of the 156 elite professionals and amateurs worldwide competing at The Open Championship at Royal St. George's Golf Club, 99 players are relying on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than four times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all other golf balls combined.

Through the year's first three major championships of 2011, Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball of choice with 248 players, nearly 200 more than the nearest competitor with 49.

 That includes Titleist Brand Ambassador Rory McIlroy, who won last month's U.S. Open in record-breaking fashion playing a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.

Titleist also continues to outperform all other golf balls on the 2011 PGA Tour with 21 victories through the first 29 events of the season.

In total, Titleist golf ball players have combined for 89 victories across the worldwide professional tours, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 12 and more than all other golf balls combined.

The Open Championship marks the latest of the major professional and amateur championships this year where the trust and confidence in the superior performance and consistency of Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls is unquestionable.

From the Masters and U.S. Open, to the NCAA Division I and U.S. Amateur Public Links championships, Titleist continues to be the overwhelming favorite of more competitive players in the golf's most important events than all other golf balls combined.

As the 140th edition of the Open Championship officially got underway Thursday morning at Royal St. George's Golf Club, more players stepped to the first tee with Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls in their hands than all other golf balls combined.

Team Titleist spoke with several players in this week's field – Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Geoff Ogilvy, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott and Zach Johnson – about why Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls perform best for their games, especially in the kind of demanding, major championship conditions that are expected this week at The Open.

Hear what they had to say in the above video.

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