Standing over his Titleist Pro V1x in the 18th fairway Sunday in a sudden-death playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship, Rickie Fowler took dead aim at the flagstick and his first PGA Tour victory.
A confident swing sent his Pro V1x soaring from 133 yards toward a tricky pin position that had yielded only four birdies all day. The ball landed just below the hole, took two small hops, spun and stopped 4 feet, 3 inches from the cup.
Fowler sank the putt for birdie to emerge victorious in the all-Pro V1x playoff with Titleist Brand Ambassador Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points, leading a 1-through-8 finish for Titleist golf ball players on the final leader board: Webb Simpson (Pro V1x, 4th), Lee Westwood (Pro V1x, T-5), Ben Curtis (Pro V1x, T-5), Ryan Moore (Pro V1, T-5) and Nick Watney (Pro V1x, 8th).
"Playing against (Rory and D.A.), I know that they're going to make birdie at some point. And I don't want to sit there and try and make pars and stay in it. I had a good number, and I wanted to make birdie," said Fowler, who closed with a 3-under 69 to get into the playoff at 14-under 275.
"I had a good number, and I was aiming right of the hole with the wind coming out of the right, and if I hit a perfect shot, it comes down right on the stick … I hit a perfect shot at the right time."
Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have now combined for 54 victories across the worldwide professional tours in 2012 – including Titleist Brand Ambassador Christiaan Basson's victory this weekend on the South African Sunshine Tour – more than seven times the nearest competitor with seven and more than all other golf balls combined.
A total of 6,585 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in those same events, more than six times the nearest competitor with 1,062 and more than all competitors combined.
Fowler's keys to success at Quail Hollow? Consistency and precision. He finished T-2 in Driving Accuracy (62.5 percent) and T-5 in Greens in Regulation (79.2 percent). As a results, Fowler rolled his Pro V1x in for 22 birdies over the 72 holes – not to mention his bonus birdie on the first playoff hole.
"Today I felt really good," Fowler said. "I think a lot of that comes from how well I struck the ball this week and how well I was swinging. So I was able to go out and trust that I was making good swings and I knew that the ball was going to kind of take off in the right direction. That made it a lot easier for me today to sit back, relax and have some fun."
McIlroy, who returned to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking Sunday evening, also tied for fifth in Greens In Regulation (79.2 percent). He led the field in Driving Distance at 330.9 yards.
Points led the field in Greens in Regulation at 80.6 percent.
In total, 106 players in the field trusted Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls for their success, more than seven times the nearest competitor with seven and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also first in sand, lob and approach wedges (132); and putters (63).
• SOUTH AFRICAN TOUR: Five days after celebrating his 30th birthday, Titleist Brand Ambassador Christiaan Basson (Pro V1x) captured the Investec Royal Swazi Sun Open with a 50-point victory total in the Modified Stableford scoring event.
Basson edged fellow Pro V1x players Danie van Tonder and Desvonde Botes by one point at the Royal Swazi Golf Club to earn his second Sunshine Tour victory.
“This is great – I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I was so relieved when I sunk that last putt," said Basson. "My wedding is in just over a month, and I’m really looking forward to it. This does a fair amount for my stress levels."
Fifty of the 72 players in the field relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success, more than two times the nearest competitor with 19 and more than all other golf balls combined.
• EUROPEAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Reale Seguros Open de España with 92 players, more than three times the nearest competitor with 24 and more than all competitors combined.
• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Runner-up Tom Lehman (Pro V1) was one of 55 players at the Insperity Championship relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, five times the nearest competitor with 11 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also first in iron sets (17); and sand lob and approach wedges (59).
• NATIONWIDE TOUR: Titleist was the No. 1 golf ball of choice at the Stadion Classic at UGA with 108 players, more than six times the nearest competitor and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist also led the field in iron sets (45); sand, lob and approach wedges (159); and putters (56).