The #1 Ball at the 2017 U.S. Open: Facts, Figures and Social Buzz

This year, for the first time in 117 stagings of the tournament, the U.S Open will be contested in the state of Wisconsin. A demanding challenge awaits players at Erin Hills Golf Course, a par-72, 7,741-yard layout that sits in a rugged moraine carved by Ice Age glaciers.

Leading up to yesterday’s opening round, most talk centered on the unique and unfamiliar challenges of the course - its elevated and crowned greens, treacherous bunkers, jungle-like fescue and its exposure to the ever-present wind - but the conversation quickly shifted, as Titleist golf ball loyalist Rickie Fowler (Pro V1) sent an early message to the field by matching a U.S Open record.

Fowler, who teed off at 8:51 on No. 10 yesterday, fired a spotless 65, matching the lowest opening round score in relation to par (7-under) in U.S Open history.

The 2015 PLAYERS champion hinted at some low scoring on Wednesday, saying, “I think there’s a decent amount of birdies that you’re going to be seeing out here. The rough and the fescue are very penalizing, (but) it’s a fun golf course. The fairways are a bit more generous than the normal U.S. Open and it’s softer than we had expected from the rain yesterday morning. It’s a very playable golf course.”

Fowler’s fast start gave him a one-shot overnight lead over two players, including fellow Pro V1 loyalist Paul Casey, as we head into Friday’s action.

The forecast calls for a bit more rain, particularly on Saturday, and the wind shouldn’t reach more than 15 mph, so conditions are ripe for some more good scores and an exciting finish at the season’s second major.

Good luck the rest of the way to all of Team Titleist!

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TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS


 For 69 years and still counting, Titleist is once again the #1 ball at the U.S. Open. This week, 102 players in the field are trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success at Erin Hills Golf Course - six times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all competitors combined.

Titleist was also the top choice among players in the irons category with 41 sets in play.

Vokey Design Wedges also topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (151) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice among players with 55 putters in play.

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FAST FACTS:

  • Erin Hills will be the first par-72 setup in a U.S. Open since 1992 when Pebble Beach Golf Links hosted and ninth since World War II.
  • This year marks the first U.S. Open in the Midwest since 2003 when Olympia Fields, in Illinois hosted.
  • Erin Hills is the third course in the last decade to host a U.S. Open for the first time (Torrey Pines/2008, Chambers Bay/2015).
  • Erin Hills opened in 2006 and was designed by the team of Dr. Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten. The 652-acre property features bent-grass tees and greens and fine fescues covering the fairways
    and rough.
  • In Round 1, Erin Hills played at 7,741 yards -- the longest course in U.S. Open and major championship history. Chambers Bay, which measured 7,695 yards at the 2015 U.S. Open, is second on the list. At its maximum, Erin Hills can tip out over 8,000 yards.
  • In addition to the U.S. Open Championship trophy and the winner's prize money, the U.S. Open champion receives a 10-year U.S. Open exemption, a five-year exemption to the Masters, Open Championship, PGA Championship and THE PLAYERS and a five-year exemption on the PGA TOUR.
  • The 2017 U.S. Open generated 9,485 entries, the fifth-highest behind the record 10,127 applicants accepted for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
  • The field this week includes 11 past U.S. Open champions, 25 major championship winners, 19 of the top 20 players in the current FedExCup standings and 49 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Fourteen amateur participants will also compete in the 2017 U.S. Open.
  • Five players have won the U.S Open in their debut appearance: Horace Rawlins (1895), Fred Herd (1898), Harry Vardon (1900), George Sargent (1909), a-Francis Ouimet (1913).
  • The last player to win the national championship in their second attempt is Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson, who won in 2012 at Olympic Club.
  • Erin Hills is the third course in the last decade to host a U.S. Open for the first time (Torrey Pines/2008, Chambers Bay/2015)
  • After the USGA denied his request for a special exemption into the U.S. Open, Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker, 50, of Madison, Wisconsin, shot rounds of 67-65 to win a sectional qualifier in Memphis, Tennessee, earning a spot in the field at Erin Hills. Stricker, a 12-time winner on the PGA TOUR and the 2017 Presidents Cup U.S. Team captain, will be making his 20th appearance in the U.S. Open. He finished fifth in both 1998 and '99.

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SOCIAL BUZZ:

Welcome to the 117th U.S. Open, courtesy of the first Instagram post by Titleist Brand Ambassador and favorite son of Wisconsin, Steve Stricker.

Looking forward to an exciting week. Welcome to Wisconsin @usopengolf! #homegame

A post shared by Steve Stricker (@stevestrickpga) on

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Did you see the prize pack we’re offering in the Team Titleist U.S. Open sweeps? Make sure to enter!

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Titleist Brand Ambassador Gregory Bourdy shows off his U.S. Open commemoratives.

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During a practice round earlier in the week, Titleist Brand Ambassador Andrew “Beef” Johnston provided a playful solution to the difficult bunkers at Erin Hills.

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More light-heartedness from Billy Foster, who caddies for Pro V1x loyalist Lee Westwood. Billy goes the extra mile for Lee during Monday’s practice round.

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Pro V1 loyalist Henrik Stenson gets a feel for the course as he tees off on No. 12 at Erin Hills.

12:th tee at Erin Hills. @europeantour @pgatour @usga

A post shared by Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) on

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Titleist Brand Ambassador Charley Hoffman made a great run at this year’s Masters and is playing some great golf again as we begin the year’s second major.

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2010 Open Championship winner and Pro V1x loyalist, Louis Oosthuizen, looking forward to this week’s challenge.

All set for the US Open. Course is great and very fair. Can't wait.

A post shared by Louis Oosthuizen (@oosthuizen57) on

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Some more positive feedback for Erin Hills from Titleist Brand Ambassador Bernd Wiesberger.

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A slo-mo look at the swing that overnight leader Rickie Fowler used to shoot his 7-under-par 65 on Thursday, a new corse record at Erin Hills.

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Rickie, who is seeking his first major title, appears to have his eyes set squarely on the prize.

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A Round 1 highlight for Steve Stricker, making his 20th U.S. Open appearance.

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Another highlight from Pro V1 loyalist Paul Casey, who fired 6-under 66 yesterday.

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Some heartfelt thoughts from Titleist Brand Ambassador Jordan Spieth as we look ahead to a Father’s Day finish on Sunday.

Good luck to all the players this weekend and Happy Father's Day to all of #TeamTitleist! 

#TeamTitleist 

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