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Posted: June 25, 2012
"I still can't really believe it but it's been exciting," said Webb Simpson to a packed room of reporters earlier this week at TPC River Highlands, host of the Travelers Championship and this week's stop on the PGA Tour, while reflecting on his recent triumph at Olympic.
It has certainly been a busy 96-hours (give or take a few hours) for the new U.S. Open Champion but Webb was kind enough to spend some time with Team Titleist on the range to share some thoughts on winning his first major.
Webb also gave us a little more insight on what was going through his mind as he stood over his Pro V1x with his trusty 58º Vokey Design Spin Milled wedge in hand, and sized up what would turn out to be a clutch up-and-down on the par-4 18th at Olympic.
Check out the video above for the exclusive Team Titleist recap.
Posted: June 19, 2012
Going into the final round of the U.S. Open, Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson knew Olympic was going to continue to challenge the field.
“This place is so demanding, and so all I was really concerned about was keeping the ball in front of me and making pars.”
Trusting his Pro V1x and bag full of Titleist equipment, that is just what Webb did en route to a final round score of 2-under, 68 - capping off a stellar weekend of back-to-back 68’s and a winning score of 1-over, 281 (72 – 73 – 68 – 68).
Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have now won 79 times across the worldwide professional tours in 2012, nearly eight times the nearest competitor with 10 and more than all competitors combined.
Simpson's U.S. Open Championship victory makes it 2-of-2 for Titleist Pro V1x golf ball loyalists at the 2012 majors, as he follows Bubba Watson's winning performance at the Masters in April. Simpson's win also marks the 17th for Titleist golf ball loyalists on the 2012 PGA Tour, more than five times the nearest competitor with 3.
Winning a major championship is never easy and Simpson started the final day four shots off the lead. After two early bogeys on holes two and five, he found himself six shots back.
“I was 2?over through 5, but I didn't think anything of it because I knew I had 7 coming up and a few other birdie holes in the back,” he said. “I definitely thought about winning and wanted to win, but I was just trying to keep my mind focused on the hole that I was playing and just somehow make pars.”
After his second (and final) bogey of the day on the fifth hole, Simpson kicked it into high gear and rattled off four birdies through a five-hole stretch including three birdies in a row starting at the difficult 489 yard sixth hole.
“We weren't trying to hit it close. We were trying to hit it left of the hole,” said Simpson. “But it ended up about five feet and made birdie. That hole all I wanted to do was make par. The birdie was an added bonus...”
Carrying that momentum, Simpson started the trip back to clubhouse with a birdie at 10 and then went on to par the final eight holes. Highlighting the clutch performance down the stretch was a key up-and-down on the closing hole that proved to be the difference in the tournament. From a dicey lie, Webb trusted his 58º Vokey Design wedge and rolled his Pro V1x to just outside four feet.
One putt later, he was in the clubhouse as the leader of the 2012 U.S. Open. Roughly 45-minutes later, as the last putt fell, Simpson’s clubhouse lead was still standing and he was crowned the 2012 U.S. Open champion.
This marks Simpson’s first major title and his third PGA Tour career victory. He finished one shot clear of two players, including Pro V1 loyalist Michael Thompson, who shot a Sunday-best three-under par 67. Thompson also shot the lowest round of the tournament with a four-under 66 on Thursday.
Five players tied for 4th place another shot back, including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jason Dufner and John Peterson, and golf ball loyalists Padraig Harrington (Pro V1x) and David Toms (Pro V1). Six of the eight players who finished among the top four and ties relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success.
Titleist was the top choice of more players in U.S. Open field of 156 where 103 players trusted a Titleist golf ball, more than six times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist was also first in iron sets (44); sand, lob and approach wedges (146); and putters (54).
What’s in Webb Simpson’s bag?
Ball: Titleist Pro V1xDriver: 909D3 10.5º (Proforce AXIVCore Tour Black 69)3-wood: 910F 13.5º (Proforce VTS)5-wood: 910F 17º (Proforce VTS)Hybrid: 910H 21º (Tour AD DI-105 Hybrid)Irons: Titleist 680 MB 4 – P (Dynamic Gold)Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C TVD 53.5º and 58º (Dynamic Gold)
• • •
• EUROPEAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Darren Fichardt withstood windy conditions at the Saint-Omer Open to claim his third career European Tour title.
Fichardt started the final round with a five-shot lead and his 5-under 279 victory total was three shots clear of runner-up Gary Lockerbie (Pro V1x), and four better than Simon Wakefield (Pro V1x). The three Pro V1x golf ball loyalists were the only players to finish under par for the tournament.
Fichardt's previous two victories came at the 2001 Sao Paulo Brazil Open and the 2003 Qatar Masters.
A total of 125 players in the field played Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, more than 10 times the nearest competitor with 12. Titleist also led the field in iron sets (45) and wedges (206).
Fichardt's win is the 14th for Titleist golf ball loyalists on the 2012 European Tour, more than three times the nearest competitor with 4.
• SUNSHINE TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Harding carded a final round 5-under 68 to capture the Indo Zambia Bank Zambia Open. Harding's victory total of 12-under, 280 was two shots clear of Titleist golf ball loyalist Divan van der Heever (Pro V1x).
Two players tied for 3rd place a further shot back, including Des Terblanche (Pro V1x), as three of the top four finishers relied on the #1 ball in golf for their success.
What’s in Justin Harding’s Bag?:
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1xDriver: 910D33-wood: 910FIrons: CB (3 - P)Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 50º, 54º and 60ºPutter: Scotty Cameron GoLo
A total of 100 players in the field of 144 teed up a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, nearly three times the nearest competitor with 34.
• ASIAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand captured the Queen's Cup in his home country to secure his record tying 13th career crown on the Asian Tour.
The 45-year-old Wiratchant won the event in style with an eagle on the par 5 final hole to close with a final round 3-under par 68. His 7-under par 277 victory total was three shots better than 2011 Order of Merit winner Juvic Pagunsan (Pro V1x) and Rahman Siddikur (Pro V1x).
A total of 90 players in the field of 144 trusted Titleist golf balls, more than three times the nearest competitor with 26. Each of the top five finishers relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success. Titleist was also first in iron sets (36) and wedges (109).
Posted: June 15, 2012
One of the keys to winning the U.S. Open? Staying out of the rough, typically the most talked about thick stuff of the season.
Alas, it's a safe bet that every player in this week's field will wander a bit from Olympic Club's fairways and greens.
In the above video, we asked Titleist Brand Ambassadors Rory McIlroy and Kyle Stanley exactly what they're thinking as they stand over a rough-and-tough U.S. Open lie and how important it is to make the right decision with their next shot.
Posted: June 13, 2012
How do you win the U.S. Open?
Get up-and-down from inside 100 yards (almost every time), according to Titleist Brand Ambassador Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champ. (For Geoff's full answer, watch the above video.)
"Three, four, five times a day at worst you're going to have an up and down from 20 or 30 or 40 (yards) for par," he told Team Titleist recently. "I got almost all of those up and down for a whole week…"
In 2006, Geoff closed out the final round of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot with perhaps the best two pars of his life.
On the par-4 17th, he holed his Pro V1x golf ball from 30 yards from a nasty bit of rough. On 18, he got up-and-down from in front of the green (after a tough break), pitching his Pro V1 to 6 feet and making the putt.
"I think anybody who wins the Open, that's what they're doing," Geoff said.
Team Titleist is on the ground at the 112th U.S. Open Championship and long-time Titleist Staff Professional Dennis Miller was the center of attention for most of yesterday morning. The Director of Golf at the Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio, Dennis became an online sensation when his remarkable winning 20-foot putt in a sudden death playoff during June 4th qualifying was caught on tape. Just when it looked like his Pro V1 golf ball would stop short of the cup, it dropped in after approximately five seconds and after Miller looked away.
What makes the story even more interesting, is that Miller was debating whether or not to even go to the event because he was the third alternate. He never played a practice round and had never even played the course before the 36-hole qualifier. He decided to go because it was a good opportunity to play historic Scioto Country Club, in suburban Columbus, Ohio. In fact, he went to a Cleveland Indians game on Sunday, the night before the tournament. He had entered U.S. Open qualifying 11 times prior with his best finish being four shots out.
"There has been a tremendous outpouring of love and support from my community, my family, my friends," said Miller. "I received over a thousand text messages and emails, and I'm trying to get back to everybody. If I haven't, I apologize. But it's been a whirlwind since last Monday. But, you know, the community really embraced me. They stepped up. Some of my sponsors and things of that nature. It's been fantastic. Quite a journey so far."
"You could not script this story," said the 42-year old Miller. "If I birdied one of the final holes in regulation, I'm probably the same story as many of the other great stories ... Mill Creek Metro golf professional, made it to the U.S. Open. But to do it with the cameras rolling, the ball hanging on the lip. I can't tell you how excited my family is."
Reality set in for Miller on Tuesday, the morning after the excitement.
"I still have a job to do back in Mill Creek," he said. "And we actually had a Chamber of Commerce golf outing the next day. We had 300 golfers out there and I worked about 14 hours that day. That was my preparation up to this week. It's been a whirlwind. We're trying to enjoy it."
In case you missed, you can check out the putt that landed Dennis in San Francisco below:
The USGA offers 13 sectional qualifying sites for the U.S. Open – 11 in the U.S. and two overseas in Japan and England. Approximately 750 golfers compete at the sectional qualifying level for about half of the 156 available spots in the U.S. Open.
Sectional qualifying is a demanding 36-hole, one-day marathon, with only a handful of available spots at each site. Qualifying spots are determined by the field's numbers and strength. The USGA established two "tour" sites in Columbus, Ohio, and Memphis, Tenn., for members of the PGA Tour who either have just competed at The Memorial (Columbus) or are preparing to play the FedEx St. Jude Classic (Memphis).
Dennis Miller joins the following sectional qualifiers, each of whom trusted a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball to play their way into the field at the 2012 U.S. Open Championship.
Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit, NJ - June 4, 2012
Springfield Country Club, Springfield, OH - June 4, 2012
Lake Merced Golf Club/TPC at Harding Park, Daly City, CA - June 4, 2012
Scioto Country Club/OSU Scarlet Course, Columbus, OH - June 4, 2012
Woodmont Country Club, Rockville, MD - June 4, 2012
Lakeside Country Club, Houston, TX - June 4, 2012
Black Diamond Ranch (Quarry Course), Lecanto, FL - June 4, 2012
The River Club, Suwanee, GA - June 4, 2012
Germantown Country Club, Memphis, TN - June 4, 2012
Village Links of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL - June 4, 2012