LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR | Aramco Saudi Ladies International
Lydia Ko (Pro V1x) earned her third win in her last four worldwide starts, capturing her second LET title by one shot.
- The No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings closed in 4-under 68 to win in her first start of 2023.
KO ON HER PRO V1X
- “Consistency is super important. That’s a big goal of mine, personally, to be more consistent. And if you’re unsure, and sometimes [your golf ball] takes a little bit more wind, sometimes it doesn’t take enough wind, then you’re questioning yourself. And I’d say it’s pretty hard out there without having to deal with all of that.”
- “I changed to the Pro V1x, and I think it’s a really good balance for me around the green with short game and being able to spin it. Also in the long game, it puts me at a right range within 2,000 to 2,500 RPM for my driver spin, and then works out good for my irons as well. So, I think it’s a good balance for me to have a ball that I can believe in, and I know that it’s going to react pretty similar on similar conditions. I think it’s a huge bonus as a player.”
- “I’ve used the Titleist ball for a really long time and I can speak from my experience that every time I’ve tried something new I’ve been able to see a difference, and I just love how it is the #1 golf ball. It’s not just an advertisement. It is something that I believe and something that I really trust. The golf ball is such a crucial part of the equipment standpoint and in the game.”
CHAMPION WINS WITH NEW TSR DRIVER
- The champion at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club earned Win No. 3 with her new TSR3 driver in the bag.
- She switched to the new driver from her prior generation TSi3 model at the Amundi Evian Championship in July, following a fitting with J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director of Player Promotion, having seen increased ball speed with more consistent spin.
- In her last start at the LPGA’s 2022 season-ending CME Championship, she put on a stellar performance off the tee, hitting 53 of 56 fairways (94.6%) over the four rounds while averaging 270 yards.
- In her first 11 starts with the new TSR3, she has recorded three wins and eight finishes of T5 or better.
- In addition to her driver, she also plays NEW TSR2+ 13.0° and TSR2 18.0° fairway metals, a T200 5-iron, four Vokey Design SM9 wedges and Scotty Cameron putter.
What’s in the Bag | Rolex World No. 1
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: NEW TSR3 9.0° | Mitsubishi Kurokage XD50 S
Fairway Metals: NEW TSR2+ 13.0° | Mitsubishi Kurokage XD60 S and NEW TSR2 18.0° | Mitsubishi Diamana PD60 S
Iron: T200 5 | AeroTech SteelFiber FC 70
Wedges: NEW Vokey Design SM9 46.10F, 48.10F, 54.10S and WedgeWorks 58.04L | AeroTech SteelFiber FC 80
Putter: Scotty Cameron P5 GSS tour prototype (center shaft)
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS | Chubb Classic
- Playing a NEW Pro V1x golf ball, Bernhard Langer birdied five of his final seven holes to win by three shots and equal the all-time PGA TOUR Champions record with Win No. 45.
- The oldest winner in the tour’s history, the 65-year-old Langer closed with a bogey-free 7-under 65 to make it back-to-back Chubb Classic titles.
- He ranked first in Scrambling for the week at Tiburon Golf Club (92%) and was 4-for-4 in getting his Pro V1x up-and-down from the bunker.
- “Yeah, there’s been a lot of talk… for the last few years, and there’s a lot of pressure, especially today when you get this close,” said Langer. “Then you have thoughts running through your mind, and you're going, wow, you're this close, you don't want to lose it now. But that's the wrong stuff to think. You've got to just focus on one shot at a time… I drove it very well, hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, and fortunately did better than anybody else.”
THREE IN A ROW FOR NEW PRO V1 & PRO V1x
- With Langer’s victory, NEW Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf ball players have won each of the first three events of the new 2023 PGA TOUR Champions season, with Steve Stricker (Pro V1x) and Stephen Ames (Pro V1) claiming the previous two events.
PGA TOUR | Genesis Invitational
Titleist Brand Ambassador Max Homa, playing a NEW Pro V1 golf ball and full bag of Titleist equipment, posted rounds of 64-68-69-68 to finish runner-up at 15 under par and earn his third finish of T3 or better in four starts to begin 2023.
- In seven appearances this season on the PGA TOUR, Homa has claimed a pair of victories and finished outside the top 20 only twice (his worst finish is T39) while climbing to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup Standings.
- His finish Sunday also moved him into No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking, his highest ever position in the OWGR.
- Three of the top 4 players at Riviera gamed a Titleist golf ball and 14 Titleist clubs, with three of the top 5 playing a 2023 Pro V1 or Pro V1x: Homa (Pro V1), Will Zalatoris (Pro V1x) and Keith Mitchell (Pro V1).
- In total 86 players teed up a Pro V1 or Pro V1x model at The Riv, more than five times the nearest competitor (16).
HOMA’S DIALED IN WITH 2023 PRO V1
- The Genesis Invitational marked Max Homa's third start playing the NEW Pro V1 golf ball.
- Over those three events, Homa is a combined 31 under par with one victory (Farmers Insurance Open), one runner-up (Genesis) and 10 rounds in the 60’s.
- He has been inside the top-5 of the leader board after 7 of his last 12 rounds while averaging 0.75 strokes gained on approach shots per round – nearly double the amount of strokes he gained on approach shots per round last season (+0.38).
- Following Sunday’s final round at Riviera, Homa is now in the PGA TOUR’s top-5 in Scoring Average (69.327), Strokes Gained: Total (+2.264) and Birdie Average (5.11).
- Homa made the switch to NEW Pro V1 in the days leading up to the Farmers Insurance Open. Before heading to Torrey Pines, Homa visited the Titleist Performance Institute in nearby Oceanside, where he worked with Titleist’s Director of Player Promotions, J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, and his swing coach, Mark Blackburn, to ensure his setup was dialed in for the upcoming stretch.
- It was during this session that Homa began testing the 2023 Pro V1 golf ball, putting the new model through its paces from wedges to driver.
- “In that scenario, we want to hit every wedge shot he’s going to hit, so it’s a full one, it’s a partial one. When we get to a 7-iron, we want to hit multiple shots of, ‘Hey, what’s your big 7-iron? What’s your short 7-iron?’ “ Van Wezenbeeck said. “We want to go to those shots that they’re going to hit in a tournament. We’ll move targets around, we’ll call shots, we’ll ask for a shot up against a wind. So he saw just how stable the golf ball was in the wind, and so it was a good testing day to be able to see all the different shots he would hit, but also in those wind conditions.”
- Advanced core technologies in NEW Pro V1 help lower long game spin without sacrificing short game spin, something that caught Homa’s eye as he looked to decrease his driver spin numbers.
- “When we got to the driver, we had an opportunity where he could use a little less spin, and speed’s always welcome – and we saw a little more speed, a little less spin,” Van Wezenbeeck said.
- With demanding tour setups requiring high-flying approaches that stop quickly on firm greens, however, the group started to focus in on the spin rates and performance with his longer irons.
- Testing showed that the 2023 Pro V1 allowed him to hit a higher, more stable ball with the stopping power required to hit it close.
- “While he’s not necessarily a high launch guy, he can get a little spinny,” said Fordie Pitts of Titleist Golf Ball R&D. “The new ball keeps that spin in a controllable area. He did have one concern when he was working at TPI, his 4-iron. Obviously with 4-iron you’re not generating a lot of spin with that club. The concern was, is that going to be a little too hot? His coach, Mark Blackburn just said, ‘Well hit one higher.’ And he hit one higher and sure enough it went up in the air and he’s like, ‘I’m good,’ and goes on to win the tournament.”
- That performance was highlighted during the final round of Farmers, where he used to his T100•S 4-iron to set up two key birdies on the par-3 11th and 16th holes.
- On the 213-yard 11th, Homa hit his approach to 12 feet, 8 inches and rolled in the putt for his fifth birdie of the day.
- He was trailing by a shot when he stepped to the tee at the 227-yard par-3 16th, the most difficult hole of the final round which was playing almost a half-stroke over par. There had been just one birdie made there the entire day.
- Homa took aim, then watched his 2023 Pro V1 fly toward the flagstick, stopping just 15 feet, 1 inch from the cup.
- It was the closest approach of the day on No. 16. He made the putt to get to 6 under for the day and 12 under overall, securing what would prove to be the clinching birdie.
- The shot highlighted a ball striking week for the books on Torrey’s South Course, with Homa gaining more than eight shots (+8.387) on the field with his approach shots, better than anyone else in the field.
- Said Homa: “I haven’t been great at left pins, so this season when we had looked at that, we decided we were going to be aggressive to right pins and then left ones we were going to leave alone unless it feels real good.”
- “So I get back on that 11th hole and it’s a back right pin and it was a very good number and Joe and I were talking about maybe punching one up the middle and bouncing it back there and then finally we were both looking at each other. I'm like, ‘This is just a perfect high 4-iron. Why are we overthinking it?’ At some point, trust your swing and trust your equipment and we had put the new golf ball in that week and our big concern was it wouldn’t fly high and soft enough. And I had shown myself a few times early that week that it would, so I was like, ‘This is the one we hit.’ This is our bread and butter in a way. If you’re going to try to have an advantage over these other great players, you need to know where you need to take that risk, I guess, and that’s when it was.”
- “So that one, I hit differently. I put it up my stance and I trusted the golf club really to, as I mentioned a bunch of times how easy the club (T100•S 4-iron) is to hit and how much higher it launches, and I just let it get as high as I could in the air and let the wind take it over and that one came off great.”
- “But then the one on 16 was a completely different shot and this was a testament to the golf ball. It was a pretty big 4 iron for me into the wind but we had just worked on, I don’t know, a couple hours on the range about how the thing is going to fly flatter and it’s going to fly harder and I’m going to get a bit more out of it.”
- “So I was like, ‘Okay, I’m not going to try to smoke it, I’m just going to keep it flat.’ And again, all those things play into these big moments. You’re already so nervous and you know consequence. So once you get into a situation where you can eliminate so many variables. I know the ball’s going to fly like I want it to fly. I know this club is not particularly hard to hit, just go make the golf swing and see what happens.”
- “So it’s fun to hit both of those because those are my two favorite shots I’ve hit in a long time in a single round and to have them with relatively new equipment and a very new golf ball – I mean that was cool, to have it feel like a big team win in a way. In San Diego where we had been at TPI a bunch, so that was fun.”
HOMA EXCELS ON GREENS AT GENESIS
- Max Homa led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting (+11.329) on his way to a solo-second finish at Riviera Country Club.
- Gaming his trusty Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 tour prototype, Homa averaged a field-best 23.25 putts per round and 1.444 Putts per GIR, while finishing the week with a career-best 49 one-putts.
- Homa won the 2021 Genesis Invitational gaming a Phantom X 11.5 but made the switch to his current gamer four months after the victory.
- He has won four TOUR events since with his Phantom X 5.5, including back-to-back Fortinet Championships, the Wells Fargo Championship and last month’s Farmers Insurance Open.
- Said Homa on his switch to a Phantom X mallet: “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.”
NEW TSR DRIVER MOMENTUM CONTINUES
- Titleist continues to be the most played driver on the PGA TOUR with 44 players gaming Titleist drivers this week at Riviera, 19 more than the nearest competitor.
- NEW TSR was the field’s favorite model, with 22 playing TSR3 and 7 playing TSR2.
- Four of the top 8 on the final leader board played a Titleist driver, including the eighth-place finisher, who made the switch to his to NEW TSR3 9.0° three weeks ago at Pebble Beach.
- This week, the 9-time PGA TOUR winner gained nearly three strokes on the field off the tee (+2.904) while ranking T1 in Driving Accuracy (67.86).
- He gained a season-high 1.67 strokes off the tee in Friday’s second round.
- Five of the top 9, and 11 of the top 19, players in the Official World Golf Ranking currently play a Titleist driver.
ASIAN TOUR | International Series Qatar
Andy Ogletree, playing a Titleist Pro V1 golf ball and NEW TSR2 driver among his Titleist setup, claimed his second Asian Tour title in nine starts with a three-shot victory in Qatar.
- Ogletree posted a tournament-best 6-under 66 in Round 3 to enter Sunday’s final round with a five-shot lead, cruising to his winning total of 7 under.
What’s in the Bag | Andy Ogletree
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: TSR2 10.0°
Fairway Metal: TSR3 16.5°
Utility Iron: U505 3
Irons: 620 CB 4-9
Wedges: Vokey Design SM9 46.10F, 50.12F, 54.10S, 60.08M
SUNSHINE TOUR | SDC Open
J.J. Senekal (Pro V1) made birdie on No. 18 for a final-round 65, capturing a four-shot victory at Zebula Country Club.
- Senekal turned in four rounds in the 60’s (62-67-69-65) to post 25 under and win in wire-to-wire fashion.
- He played the par 5’s in 14 under for the week on his way to claiming his third career Sunshine Tour win.
- “It was very emotional,” Senekal said. “I put a lot of hard work into this starting from the beginning of last year. It all comes down to hard work. This means the world to me. I was knocking for quite a while now and this week was a good example of staying patient, playing good golf and knowing what to do and when to do it.”
PGA TOUR AUSTRALASIA | TPS Sydney
David Micheluzzi (Pro V1) was victorious in Sydney after posting a 25-under winning total, the lowest 72-hole score in Australian golf since 2004.
- The Victoria-native shot a final round 10-under 61, playing the last 10 holes in nine-under 30 with just 12 putts at Bonnie Doon Golf Club, to pull away for a four-shot victory in the mixed-gender TPS Series event.
- Eight of the top 10 players on the final leader board trusted a Titleist golf ball for the week in Sydney.