As the final events play out for the 2013 season on the worldwide professional golf tours, the winning ways continue for players trusting Titleist. Relying on a Pro V1x golf ball and new AP2 irons (714 series) among his full bag of Titleist equipment, Brand Ambassador Zach Johnson rallied from four shots behind with eight holes to play to capture the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. The comeback will be long remembered for a stunning hole out by Johnson on the 72nd hole that forced a playoff in which he ultimately prevailed.
Joining Johnson in this week's winners' circle, Titleist Brand Ambassador Marcelo Rozo captured his first career victory on the LatinoAmerica Tour, raising the trophy at the VISA Argentina Open. Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf ball players have now won 158 tournaments on the worldwide professional tours in 2013, nearly four times the nearest competitor with 40 and more than all other competitors combined.
To date, 22,010 players have trusted a Titleist golf ball across the worldwide professional tours in 2013, more than six times the nearest competitor with 3,238 and more than all other competitors combined.
Let's review this weekend's action from around the golfing world with the Team Titleist Tour Recap.
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PGA TOUR (Unofficial): Northwestern Mutual World Challenge
Johnson's dramatic finish came after his approach to the 72nd hole found the hazard fronting the 18th green. Playing his fourth shot from a drop zone 58 yards from the flag, Johnson played a knockdown shot with his Vokey Design Hand Ground, 60-degree, V-Grind lob wedge that skipped, bounced twice, halted inches beyond the pin and then spun back gently into the heart of the cup, capping a 4-under round of 68. The par matched his playing partner, who got up and down from a greenside bunker at the last to send the contest to extra holes. Both players finished with 13-under 275 scoring totals.
Returning to the 444-yard 18th hole at Sherwood Country Club for the first playoff hole, Johnson struck a perfect drive down the right side of the fairway. Relying upon his new AP2 9-iron, Johnson struck a solid approach that left him a 15-foot birdie putt. His birdie bid burned the left edge of the cup, but the tap-in par was all he needed after his fellow competitor made bogey.
Just prior to attending the Northwester Mutual World Challenge, Johnson visited the Titleist Test Facility in Oceanside, CA. During testing with the Titleist Club R&D Team, Johnson decided to put new AP2 irons (714 series) in the bag, as well as a new 18-degree 913FD fairway metal.
The new AP1 and AP2 (714 Series) irons feature progressive designs to produce optimum launch, trajectory and distance for each loft. Advanced CG height progression, precisely designed into both models, creates higher launching long irons and flatter launching short irons for more carry distance with outstanding control to help players stop the ball on the green, closer to the hole.
While the World Challenge is not recognized as an official event on the PGA TOUR schedule, it does provide world ranking points and the win vaulted Johnson to No. 9 in the Official World Golf Rankings. This marks the first time in his career that Johnson has occupied a spot in the top-10.
"I feel very fortunate, and a bit lucky," Johnson would say after the victory. "A little too dramatic for me.”
Though luck was on his side at the last, Zach's play down the stretch seemed to foreshadow the memorable shot. On the par-5 16th, he laid up and nearly holed a sand wedge from 88 yards. The shot led to a tap-in birdie. On the very next hole Johnson flagged his 8-iron tee shot, sinking a four foot birdie putt that gave him a share of the lead as they headed to the wild finish.
WHAT’S IN ZACH JOHNSON’S BAG?: Titleist Pro V1x golf ball, 913D2 (8.5°) driver, 913FD (15.0°, 18.0°) fairway metals, AP1 (4) and new AP2 (5-9) irons, Vokey Design SM4 pitching (48°) and sand (54°) wedges, Vokey Design Hand Ground (60°, V-Grind) wedge.
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LATINOAMERICA TOUR: VISA Argentina Open
Of the 131-player field, 108 players trusted Titleist golf balls, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 13.
In the final event on the 2013 LatinoAmerica Tour calendar, Marcelo Rozo closed with an even-par 72 on Sunday, good for a 10-under-par 278 and a two-shot margin of victory in his first LatinoAmerica Tour win.
Jeff Gove (Pro V1x), a three time winner on the Web.com Tour, finished with a 5-under 67 to take solo second at the event.
Two players tied for 3rd at 7-under 281, including fellow Pro V1x loyalist Bronson Burgoon.
WHAT’S IN MARCELO ROZO’S BAG?: Titleist Pro V1x golf ball, 913D2 (8.5°) driver, MB irons, Vokey Design SM4 approach (52°) and lob (58°) wedges.