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Posted: April 23, 2012
Please file away Titleist Brand Ambassador Ben Curtis' victory at the Valero Texas Open as a blueprint for overcoming some of golf's toughest conditions.
Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and 14 Titleist clubs – including a set of new Titleist AP1 (712 Series) irons – Curtis got the best of a trying TPC San Antonio layout in an impressive display of consistency and control.
The result was Curtis' fourth-career PGA Tour victory, as well as one of four wins on the weekend for Titleist golf ball players around the world. Also raising trophies Sunday: Pro V1x loyalists Lee Westwood (Asian Tour) and Chris Swanepoel (Sunshine Tour) and Pro V1 loyalist Hiroyuki Fujita (Japan Tour).
Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have now won 48 times across the worldwide professional tours in 2012, eight times the nearest competitor with six and more than all competitors combined.
A total of 5,618 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in those same events, more than six times the nearest competitor with 916 and more than all other golf balls combined.
Curtis' victory at TPC San Antonio, the statistically-toughest track on the PGA Tour last season, can be summed up in a few key stats.
He finished first in Greens in Regulation (68.1 percent), becoming the first player to win on the PGA Tour while gaming new Titleist AP1 (712 Series) irons.
Curtis's final G.I.R. came on the 72nd hole, his Pro V1x landing 12 feet from the cup on the two-tiered 18th green. He rolled it in for birdie for an even-par 72, 9-under 279 total and two-shot victory.
"I love hard golf courses. I love it when par is premium. …," said Curtis, the 2003 British Open champion. "I just love courses that set-up that way where you got to control your distance not only in the air but also on the ground."
Carrying a Titleist 910 driver, 910Fd metal wood and pair of 910 hybrids, Curtis finished second for the week in Driving Accuracy at 73.2 percent, including a perfect drive Sunday down the 18th fairway.
He also ranked third in the Strokes Gained-Putting statistic (2.061), averaging just over 27 putts per round with his Scotty Cameron Newport 2.
Curtis' final round will be remembered most for his 23-foot par putt at the 17th hole to complete what seemed like an impossible up-and-down from the back of the green, which began with a severeley-downhill pitch.
"I was just trying to get it down there somewhere on that right level, just give myself a good look and it was the best putt I hit all week," he said.
Curtis topped a leader board that featured nine Titleist golf ball players in the top 10 – including the runner-up, who played a Pro V1.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Brendan Steele (Pro V1x), the 2011 champ, tied for fourth with Bob Estes (Pro V1) and Charlie Wi (Pro V1). Titleist Brand Ambassadors Hunter Haas (Pro V1x) and Cameron Tringale (Pro V1x) tied for eighth.
In total, 105 players relied on Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls for their success at TPC San Antonio, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 14 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also first in iron sets (35); sand, lob and approach wedges (123); and putters (62).
Here's a closer look at Ben Curtis' Titleist equipment:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1xDriver: Titleist 910D3 8.5º (Aldila RIP NV 65X)3-wood: Titleist 910Fd 13.5º (Aldila RIP 80X)Hybrids: Titleist 910H 18º & 20º (Aldila NV Hybrid 85X)Irons: Titleist AP1 (712 Series) 4-P (Dynamic Gold)Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled 52•08º, TVD58º (Dynamic Gold)Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2
• ASIAN TOUR: Lee Westwood successfully defended his title at the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters after a 32-hole marathon Sunday, trusting a Pro V1x golf ball to his first victory of 2012.
Because of weather delays, Westwood arrived at Royale Jakarta GC early Sunday morning to complete his third round. He made seven birdies in those 14 holes to finish off a 7-under 65 and take an eight-shot lead into the final 18.
“You never know how to play with such a big lead. You don’t know if you should attack or defend. It is quite hard to get your mental attitude around it," said Westwood, who closed in 2-over 74 for a two-shot victory.
He hit 81.94 percent of greens in regulation for the week.
"Hopefully this will kick-start my year. I’ve played well without any wins so hopefully I can go on and win other tournaments.
"It is tough when you are the favorite because if you don’t win then it will be disappointing. There was a lot of pressure so I’m glad I did it."
Westwood led a 1-2-3-4 finish for Titleist Pro V1x players. Thaworn Wiratchant closed in 67 to finish second at 14-under 274. Titleist Brand Ambassador Gaganjeet Bhullar and fellow countryman Shiv Kapur tied for third, another two shots back.
Of the 13 players who finished among the top-10 at the Indonesian Masters, eight trusted a Titleist golf ball for their success.
A total of 99 players in the field played Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, more than four times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also first in iron sets (46); and sand, lob and approach wedges (150).
• SUNSHINE TOUR: It was a 1-2 finish for Titleist Pro V1x players at the Golden Pilsner Zimbabwe Open, where Chris Swanepoel outlasted Titleist Brand Ambassador Trevor Fisher Jr. in a sudden-death playoff.
Swanepoel, who started the final round five strokes off the lead, closed with an 8-under 64 at Royal Harare Golf Club to force a playoff with Fisher (3-under 69) at 15-under 273.
On the second playoff hole, Swanepoel claimed the title with a tap-in for par.
“It’s a fantastic feeling," Swanepoel said of his third Sunshine Tour win. " I love playing out here on this fantastic course – it has a lovely layout. It’s my first playoff win in three tries, and it’s an incredible feeling."
Swanepoel was one of 114 players in the field that teed up Titleist golf balls, more than three times the nearest competitor with 33 and more than all other golf balls combined.
• JAPAN TOUR: Pro V1 loyalist Hiroyuki Fujita won his 12th JGTO title Sunday at the Tsuruya Open. Fujita closed with a 4-under 67 at Yamanohara GC for a 15-under 269 total, four shots clear of Pro V1x loyalist Kyoung-Hoon Lee.
Eighteen-year-old Titleist Brand Ambassador Masahiro Kawamura tied for third, another shot back.
Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Tsuruya Open with 63 players, nearly twice the nearest competitor with 32. Titleist was also first in hybrids (46); and sand, lob and approach wedges (119).
• CHAMPIONS TOUR: Titleist golf ball loyalists Michael Allen (Pro V1x) and David Frost (Pro V1) captured the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, posting a 29-under 187 total for a one-shot victory over four other teams.
Their performance at Savannah Harbor included three nearly flawless rounds of 62-63-62 in the better-ball format.
• EUROPEAN: At the Volvo China Open, 94 players teed up Titleist golf balls, more than four times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist was also first in iron sets (49); and sand, lob and approach wedges (142).
• LPGA: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the LPGA LOTTE Championship with 100 players, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all other golf balls combined. Seven of the top 11 players on the final leader board were Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x players.