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Posted: February 28, 2012
Sunday morning at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, just four players remained out of the world-class 64-player bracket: Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Mark Wilson.
And each of them started the day the same way, by teeing up a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.
In the end, it was Mahan who raised the championship trophy at Dove Mountain, highlighting a four-win week for Titleist golf ball players around the globe.
Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have now won 23 times across the worldwide professional tours in 2012, nearly eight times the nearest competitor with three and more than all other golf balls combined.
For Mahan, it marked his fourth-career PGA Tour victory and second World Golf Championships title.
"It feels good because you're going against the game's best. I played well from tee‑to‑green, putting to chipping to driving, irons, everything was there," said Mahan, who topped McIlroy in the finals, 2 and 1.
Mahan also defeated Wilson in the semis, 2 and 1. McIlroy advanced to the finals with a 3-and-1 victory over Westwood, at one stretch rolling his Pro V1x golf ball in for seven birdies in 10 holes.
The winning formula? Consistency and control.
Mahan trusted his Pro V1x to 35 birdies in the 96 holes he played over the five days and six matches, including a near hole-out for eagle from the sixth fairway during the final match. (Instead, his Pro V1x stopped 2 feet from the cup and the putt was conceded.)
Mahan's short game was just as precise, especially down the stretch, as he made up-and-down birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 to secure the victory.
Remarkably, he never trailed following the third hole of his second-round match on Thursday, a stretch of 74 holes.
"I needed everything to win," said Mahan. "It feels good. I'm very proud of how I played. It feels great. It really does."
Mahan was one of 38 Titleist golf ball players in the elite WGC field, more than four times the nearest competitor with 9 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also first in fairway metals (T-23); hybrids (17); iron sets (19); and sand, lob and approach wedges (64).
• PGA: It took 80 holes (72 holes of regulation, plus an 8-hole playoff) to crown a champion at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, but when the final putt dropped the winner emerged trusting his Titleist Pro V1.
The winner was one of 87 players that teed up a Titleist golf ball at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, more than six times the nearest competitor with 14 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also first in sand, lob and approach wedges (103); and putters (42).
• LPGA: At the third stop on the LPGA's Asia-Pacific swing, Pro V1 loyalist Angela Stanford emerged from a four-way, all-Titleist golf ball playoff to capture the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Stanford sank a three-foot par putt on the third playoff hole to top Jenny Shin (Pro V1).
Shanshan Feng (Pro V1x) and Na Yeon Choi (Pro V1x) had been eliminated on the first and second holes of the playoff, respectively. The foursome finished regulation at 10-under 278.
Stanford shot a 1-under-par 71 to notch her fifth LPGA Tour victory, and her first since the 2009 SBS Open at Turtle Bay.
Through teary eyes, the 34-year-old admitted that it was an emotional victory.
“It’s a big deal,” Stanford said. “I’m just thinking about home and everybody there.”
Last week's winner and World No. 1 Yani Tseng (Pro V1x) came in solo 5th, one shot out of the playoff, as Titleist golf ball players occupied the top five positions on the leaderboard.
A total of 39 players in the limited field relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than five times the nearest competitor with 7 and more than all other golf balls combined.
• SOUTH AFRICAN: Titleist golf ball loyalist Keith Horne (Pro V1x) captured the Telkom PGA Championship by three shots following a final round 3-under par 69 that gave him a 19-under, 269 victory total. This win was the fifth of Horne's Sunshine Tour career, and by far, the biggest.
“It has been a long time coming," said Horne. "I’m over the moon that I can tick this off. I would’ve been disappointed to have played in South Africa for so long and never won a big tournament. And this is a big one. It’s been going for many years with so many big names on the trophy. I really feel like I’m a big player in South Africa now.”
The 40-year-old Horne, nicknamed ATM by caddies on the Sunshine Tour in recognition of his consistent play, took a two-stroke lead into the final round. After birdies at two of his first three holes, and another at the 6th, Horne relied on his trademark steadiness, making only one bogey as the rest of the field struggled to gain ground. Horne capped the round by sinking a 5-foot putt for birdie at the last.
“I wasn’t feeling too much pressure because I was playing well. I really wanted to make that five-footer for birdie at the last to finish on a high. But I felt confident the whole week. It’s the first time I felt like I could win, was going to win and did win.”
Fellow Titleist golf ball loyalists Alex Haindl (Pro V1x) and Darren Fichardt (Pro V1x, 910D3 driver, AP2 irons, Vokey Design wedges) were among three players who tied for 2nd place.
Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Telkom PGA Championship with 106 players, nearly three times the nearest competitor with 33 and more than all other golf balls combined.
• ASIAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the SAIL SBI Open with 108 players, more than six times the nearest competitor with 16 and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist was also No. 1 in iron sets (36); and sand, lob and approach wedges (146).
• AUSTRALASIAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Queensland PGA Championship with 97 players, more than five times the nearest competitor with 19 and more than all other golf balls combined.