PGA TOUR | Fortinet Championship
Titleist Brand Ambassador Max Homa chipped his Pro V1 golf ball in for birdie on the 18th hole Sunday to capture his fifth PGA TOUR victory, posting a 4-under 68 to win by one shot and successfully defend his crown in Napa.
- Homa – gaming a full bag of Titleist equipment, including a NEW TSR driver and fairway metals – led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (+9.80), while gaining at least three strokes in each of the four main Strokes Gained categories: Off the Tee (+3.406/9th); Approach (+3.014/18th); Around the Green (+3.382/7th); and Putting (+4.003/15th).
- Homa, who also finished third in Scrambling (85.71%), will compete in his first Presidents Cup this week at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C., where he won the Wells Fargo Championship in 2019.
What’s in Max Homa’s Titleist Golf Bag?
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: NEW TSR3 10.0° driver | Fujikura Ventus 6 Black X
Fairway Metals: NEW TSR3 16.5° | Fujikura Ventus 8 TR Blue X and NEW TSR2 21.0° | Graphite Design Tour AD XC 9 TX
Irons: T100•S 4 | KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X, T100 5 | KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X , and 620 MB 6-9 | KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X
Wedges: NEW Vokey Design SM9 46.10F | KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X and NEW Vokey Design SM9 50.12F, 56.14F, 60.04L| KBS Hi Rev 2.0 125 S
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 tour prototype
HOMA WINS WITH NEW TSR DRIVER & FAIRWAYS; 5 WINS IN FIRST 11 WEEKS ON TOUR FOR TSR DRIVERS
- Homa's repeat victory at the Fortinet Championship marked title No. 5 for the NEW Titleist TSR drivers in their first 11 weeks on the PGA TOUR, following wins by J.T. Poston (TSR3 9.0°/John Deere Classic), Cameron Smith (TSR3 10.0°/Open Championship), Joohyung "Tom" Kim (TSR3 9.0°) and Will Zalatoris (TSR3 8.0°/FedEx St. Jude Championship).
- In total, TSR driver users have combined for 13 wins across the worldwide professional tours.
- Homa immediately switched to his NEW TSR3 10.0° driver, along with TSR3 16.5° and TSR2 21.0° fairways, at the Genesis Scottish Open, his first start after the new models debuted at the Travelers Championship.
- This week in Napa, he finished 9th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (+3.406) while leading the field in SG: Tee to Green (+9.80).
- “I’ve always been a good iron player, that’s been just kind of my game since I was a young kid. Never was a great driver and I think last year I became kind of a great driver,” said Homa earlier this week in Napa. “Not overly long, but not overly short, somewhere just a little closer to above average. When I hit a lot of fairways, especially out here where it's so firm, you get another extra 20, 30 yards at times, so landing the ball in the fairway’s a big deal. And I just feel like my misses aren’t too big, and when you play a golf course like this, even if you’re in the rough, if you’re within the treeline, it’s a big deal.”
- Homa finished last season 25th in SG: Off the Tee (+0.425 per round) while making the transition from his prior generation TSi3 to the NEW TSR.
- “I actually like the sound quite a bit. Sounds like you’re smashing it, which is nice,” Homa said of his NEW TSR driver before he teed it up in Scotland. “I did notice that the spin didn’t change as much when you mishit it. The heel and toe strikes kept the spin a little closer to your good ones. That’s obviously something I think everybody would be happy to have. It’s a mile an hour faster for me, just ball speed. So, yeah. It just doesn’t feel like any reason not to use it. I hit basically only two types of golf shots with my driver, and they both are still flying very similar. So it feels like a no brainer.”
HOMA’S T100 4-IRON & T100•S 5-IRON
- Having traditionally carried a full set of blade irons, Homa exchanged his 620 MB 4 and 5 irons last season for a T100•S 4-iron and T100 5-iron.
- The T100•S went in the bag for the first time at the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open.
- He added the T100 5-iron at The Genesis Invitational, two starts later.
- “I was down in San Diego with J.J. (Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director of Player Promotions), who was fitting me at TPI. And he said, ‘Hey, you should try this 4-iron. It’s a T100•S. It’ll be a lot easier to hit. It will launch a lot higher. So it’ll come down a lot softer. It’ll go a little bit farther in the air, but then shorter once it hits the ground. So I tried it and it was super easy to hit, especially if the lie’s not perfect. I think with the blades, if it’s sitting on a little downslope or sitting a little bit down, you’re not going to get any lift out of it. And it becomes just a club that you are hoping to hit near or maybe on the green. Now with this 4-iron, because of how much easier it is to hit, the forgiveness of it, it’s become a weapon, especially on par 5s.
- “And then, like two weeks later, we’re sitting around, my caddie and I, Joe, thinking about how a 5-iron has started feeling similar to how that blade 4-iron felt. So we put a T100 in. It feels very, very easy to hit. I can work it a little bit, but it just comes down a lot softer. So those long par 3s, especially that 5-iron, has become a big deal to us.”
HOMA’S WINNING CHIP: PRO V1 + VOKEY SM9 60.04L
- Faced with a must-make from a short-sided lie below the 18th green at Silverado Resort’s North Course, Homa pulled his Vokey Design SM9 60.04L lob wedge and chipped his Pro V1 golf ball 32 feet and 10 inches into the hole for what would prove to be the winning birdie.
- “I clipped the pitch really good but it was dead,” said Homa, who had the second-most hole-outs (22) on the PGA TOUR last season. “I mean, it was as short-sided as you could be, you couldn't really stop it. I spun it and once it hit the pin, it almost like spun straight into the ground.”
- Homa is a longtime Pro V1 user. “It is the best feel, most predictable, best spin rates for my game,” he said. “I’ve used it pretty much my whole life because I think it’s the best golf ball in the world.” He moved into his current generation Pro V1 early in 2022, finishing the season a career-best T5 in the final FedEx Cup standings.
- Homa also switched into four new SM9 wedges to begin the year – 46.10F, 50.12F, 56.14F and the 60.04L lob wedge that helped him to his third PGA TOUR victory in the last 12 months.
- This week, Homa was playing a fresh 60.04L with Team USA-inspired stamping created by Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill in preparation for this week’s Presidents Cup.
- Said Dill: “When we started working together on his set matrix, Max was playing more bounce in his 60 (M Grind). When you ask guys the question, ‘Why do you have this grind and this much bounce’ a lot of times they’ll say, ‘I don’t know. It’s just kind of what I’ve always played.’ So spending some time with him, and digging a little deeper into how to build his set makeup, we realized that he was a little limited in the types of shots he could hit, especially greenside. I gave him an option that was a little bit less bounce, and he began to realize that ‘Oh my gosh, some of the shots that I was afraid to hit, I can hit those again.’ By taking some of that bounce away and giving him the thinner sole of the L grind, he can now fearlessly go to any shot that he’s facing and obviously pull off some miraculous ones.
- “Max has a high bounce sand wedge (56.14F) and low bounce lob wedge (60.04L), and that combination gives him the ability to hit anything he wants. He was playing an M grind in the 60 before and he just had a little too much width. I think when you’re faced greenside with shots like some of those where you create lift in a hurry, you need to be able to open up the face and feel like you can slide through the ball easily. When you have a lot of sole width, it can be tricky to do that. So by giving him a little bit thinner sole, he can open it up. It sits nice and close, and he can just freely do the things that he needs to do, which is chip it in off the side of the green to win a championship.”
- “I think when you look at the correlation between the types of players who use an M Grind on the PGA Tour, they’re a little steeper. Max is a very shallow player. He’s very good at hitting low and high shots. But I think for him being a shallow guy, he doesn’t have to be too fearful about sticking into the ground. So he and (his coach) Mark Blackburn have done a terrific job of dialing in his short game and keeping him out of that style of shot so he can play a low bounce wedge and not have any discomfort with it.”
SUCCESS CONTINUES WITH HOMA’S PHANTOM X
- Sunday marked Homa's fourth PGA TOUR win with a Scotty Cameron Phantom X putter model in the bag.
- The run began at the 2021 Genesis Invitational, where Homa, gaming a Phantom X 11.5, became the first player to win with a Phantom X model putter on the PGA TOUR.
- Four months later, he switched to the Phantom X 5.5, which he used to win his first Fortinet Championship last September and then the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
- The same putter was in his hands this week in Napa, where he gained more than four strokes on the field (+4.003/9th).
- Said Homa, on his switch to Phantom X: “I was just struggling with face control with my putter. So I tried a few mallets, ended up going with one of the Phantoms and it just felt like it swung a bit better. It didn’t feel like I needed to work so much with my hands to release the putter. And at that time that’s really what I needed and then I got hooked on them.”
- “I think you almost don't have to do as much with your hands, so you can just focus on the big muscles. And I feel like, especially with putting, especially when you’re nervous, that’s a huge part of being consistent and having a lot of repetition. I felt like that was something that I was missing. And when I switched to that, I felt like it just became a lot more predictable just because I could take out a variable.”
- “Speed control became much easier with the Phantom style. I felt like because of the weight of the head or just the way it swung, I just felt like it was a lot easier to control my putts from 15 to 25 feet. That’s where I’ve typically struggled. That’s definitely the most obvious impact I saw.”
- “I think we work a lot on alignment with my putting, with getting the face square to the target line and something about the way they set up, I feel like they’re very square. I feel like that’s helped, but I really do think that the speed control has been the main benefactor (to my wins), holing a couple extra 10 to 20 footers. And that typically is mostly speed based, less start line than the closer putts.”
AMATEUR | U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship
The U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion played a Pro V1 golf ball and 13 Titleist clubs on his way to a 3-and-1 victory at Erin Hills.
- The 29-year-old Irishman made seven birdies in the 36-hole final match, stretching his lead to 5 up before closing out his opponent on the 35th hole.
- He is the first Irish winner of the U.S. Mid-Am and just the second-ever international to win the event.
- The victor is now exempt into the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club and the 2023 Masters, as well as the next two U.S. Amateur Championships and the next 10 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships.
WITB | U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Fairway Metal: TS3 15.0°
Hybrid: 818 H1 19.0°
Irons: 620 CB (3-6) & 620 MB (7-PW)
Wedges: Vokey Design SM9 52°, 56°
Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Del Mar
TITLEIST GOLF BALL PLAYERS SWEEP USGA MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Titleist golf ball players swept the men’s USGA Championships in 2022, with the winners of the U.S. Open (Matt Fitzpatrick/Pro V1x), U.S. Senior Open (Padraig Harrington/Pro V1); U.S. Amateur (Pro V1), U.S. Junior Amateur (Pro V1x), U.S. Mid-Amateur (Pro V1), U.S. Senior Amateur (Pro V1) and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (Pro V1) all playing the #1 ball in golf.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS | Sanford International
Steve Stricker (Pro V1x) made birdie on the first hole of an all-Titleist golf ball playoff to earn his 10th-career PGA TOUR Champions victory and third win of the season.
- Stricker closed with a bogey-free 6-under 64, playing his final seven holes in 4 under to force the playoff at 14 under with Robert Karlsson (Pro V1x).
- Getting his Pro V1x up-and-down 71% of the time for the week, Stricker played his final 36 holes without a bogey.
- Eleven of the top 15 finishers in South Dakota played a Titleist golf ball.
RUNNER-UP PLAYS TSR DRIVER & FAIRWAYS
- The runner-up at the Sanford International played a full bag of Titleist equipment, including a NEW TSR3 9.0° driver and NEW TSR2 13.5° and 18.0° fairways.
- In two of the previous three weeks on the PGA TOUR Champions, the winner used a NEW TSR3 9.0° driver.
JAPAN GOLF TOUR | ANA Open Golf Tournament
Tomoharu Otsuki (Pro V1) eagled the first playoff hole to earn his second victory on the JGTO. After starting the final round five shots off the lead, Otsuki’s closing 6-under 66 was enough to force the playoff at 19 under.
- His bogey-free final round capped off a week with all four rounds in the 60’s.
PGA TOUR CANADA | Fortinet Cup Championship
Wil Bateman (Pro V1x) posted a 1-under 69 Sunday to claim his second-career PGA TOUR Canada victory and finish No. 1 on the season-long points list, securing a full Korn Ferry Tour card for next season.
- Bateman, who finished the week at 8 under to win by two shots over Titleist Brand Ambassador Jeffrey Kang, led a 1-through-7 finish for Titleist golf ball players.
- Eleven of the top 12 and 29 of the top 32 finishers also played a Titleist golf ball.
SUNSHINE TOUR | Vodacom Origins of Golf – San Lameer
Titleist golf ball player Wynand Dingle (Pro V1) claimed his first Sunshine Tour title after a final round 6-under 66.
- Dingle’s 16-under total earned him a one-shot win over Titleist Brand Ambassador Jaco Prinsloo (Pro V1), who matched Dingle’s final round with a 66 of his own.
- Titleist ball players finished 1-2-3-4-5, as 77% of the field in South Africa gamed a Titleist ball, more than five times the nearest competitor (12%).