Confidence and precision resulted in near-perfection for Titleist Brand Ambassador Ricardo Santos last weekend at the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal.
Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and a bag full of Titleist equipment, Santos closed out a fairytale week on home soil Sunday with a bogey-free 9-under 63 for his first win on the European Tour.
“It was a sensational round – definitely the best of my career,” said Santos, 29.
“It was amazing to have the crowds here supporting me. It would be difficult to imagine a better win than this.”
Santos’ performance highlighted a three-win week for Titleist Pro V1x players around the world, including victories by Toru Taniguchi (Japan Tour) and Ryan Cairns (Sunshine Tour).
Titleist golf ball players have now combined for 57 wins across the worldwide professional tours in 2012, more than eight times the nearest competitor with seven and more than all competitors combined.
In Portugal, Santos led a 1-2-3 finish for Titleist Pro V1x players while posting a tournament-record 22-under 266 total. He was the only player to shoot four rounds in the 60s (68-67-68-63), and his final-round 63 was the best round of the day by three shots.
A graduate of the 2011 Challenge Tour, Santos made just three bogeys the entire week, and none since the front nine Saturday. He played his final 31 holes in 13 under, including four birdies over his last five.
For the week, Santos, who plays a mixed set of Titleist AP2 and MB irons, hit 80.6 percent of his greens in regulation.
“It is very emotional and I haven’t got the words to describe how I feel,” said Santos, the first Portuguese player to win a European Tour event in his home country.
“To win my first European Tour event in my own country is very special…. “I didn’t have many bad moments in the round, but the supporters were always there to pick me up and keep me going. This is a huge moment in my career."
Santos topped a leader board that featured nine Titleist golf ball players in the top 10, including runner-up Magnus Carlsson (Pro V1x), who finished at 18-under 270. Andres Harto (Pro V1x) was third, another shot back.
A total of 118 players teed up Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls in the event, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 16 and more than all other golf balls combined.
Titleist was also first in iron sets (45); and sand, lob and approach wedges (197).
What's in Santos' Bag?: Pro V1x golf ball, 910D3 driver (8.5); 910H hybrid (17); AP2 (3-5)/MB (6-P) irons; Vokey Design SM4 gap (52), sand (56) and lob (60) wedges.
• JAPAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Toru Taniguchi closed out a wire-to-wire victory Saunday at the JPGA Championship Nissin Cupnoodles Cup in extremely difficult scoring conditions at Karasuyamajo Country Club.
Taniguchi, also a winner of this event in 2010, finished the major championship with a 4-under 284 victory total for a one-shot victory. He was one of only two players to finish under par.
Over the last 36 holes, only one player was able to break par.
The win is the 18th for Taniguchi in his 19-year JGTO career, and the third win for Titleist golf ball loyalists through the first four events of the 2012 season.
A total of 67 players in the event relied on Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls for their success, more than twice the nearest competitor with 23.
Titleist was also No. 1 in hybrids (23); and sand, lob and approach wedges (106).
• SUNSHINE TOUR: Ryan Cairns chipped his Pro V1x in for eagle on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Simola Golf and Country Estate.
Cairns, who closed with a course-record-tying 10-under 62, finished regulation tied with Pro V1 loyalist Vaughn Groenewald at 15-under 62.
On the playoff hole, Cairns knew he had to get up and down for birdie to extend the playoff.
“I had to hit that shot properly,” Cairns said. “It was actually a tight lie and I was going to putt it because I didn’t want to duff it in front of all of those people.”
Instead, he chipped it in for eagle and first South African Sunshine Tour trophy.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Louis de Jager (Pro V1x) and Jake Redman (Pro V1) finished two shots back in a third place, as each of the top four finishers relied upon the #1 ball in golf for their success. ?In total, 51 players teed up Titleist golf balls in the event, more than three times the nearest competitor and more than all competitors combined.
• PGA TOUR: Titleist golf ball players finished in eight of the top 11 spots at The Players, including runners-up Zach Johnson (Pro V1x), Ben Curtis (Pro V1x), Rickie Fowler (Pro V1x) and Martin Laird (Pro V1x). Luke Donald (Pro V1x), who shot 30 on the back nine Sunday, finished sixth.
Fowler (77.78%) and Johnson (75%) ended the tournament 1-2 in Greens in Regulation, while Curtis topped the Strokes Gained - Putting statistic (2.418). Curtis, who games a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter, currently leads the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained - Putting at 1.242.
In total, 93 players in the field trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, more than five times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist was also first in iron sets (38); sand, lob and approach wedges (140); and putters (56).
• KOREA/ONE ASIA TOUR: ?At the the GS Caltex Maekyung Open, eight of the top 11 players on the final leader board relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.
A total of 110 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players were in the field, more than five times the nearest competitor with 19 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also led in hybrids (87); iron sets (67); and sand, lob and approach wedges (188).
• CHINA: ?Seven of the top 11 players at the China PGA Champions Tour Lianyungang event were Titleist golf ball players, including Wang Jeung Hun (Pro V1x), who tied for second.
Hun was one of 107 Titleist golf ball players at the event, more than five times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all other golf balls combined.