PGA TOUR | Farmers Insurance Open
Six shots back to start the day, Luke List rolled his Pro V1 golf ball in for eight birdies during Saturday’s final round on his way to a playoff victory and first PGA TOUR title.
- List made seven of those birdies in his closing 6-under 66, the seventh one coming on Torrey Pines’ par-5 18th hole.
- In the playoff, matched up against Titleist Brand Ambassador Will Zalatoris, List birdied 18 again after hitting his third shot from 131 yards to 11 inches to claim the breakthrough victory.
- The 37-year-old List, who was making his 207th PGA TOUR start, ranked second in Strokes Gained: Around the Green (+.708) for Round 4, while finishing the week fourth in SG: Approach (+5.45).
- Zalatoris, who has now started 2022 with T6 (AmEx) and runner-up finishes, led the field in SG: Approach (+7.914), SG: Tee to Green (+12.445) and Scrambling (T1, 85.71%).
- Titleist golf ball players have now won six of the last seven events on the PGA TOUR.
WINNER PLAYS NEW VOKEY DESIGN SM9 WEDGES
- The winner of the Farmers Insurance Open gamed three NEW Vokey Design SM9 wedges – 50.12F, 54.14F and WedgeWorks 60T – as more players in the field had NEW SM9 models in their bags than any other wedge.
- He first put the new models in play last week at The American Express, where SM9’s made their full-field debut on the PGA TOUR.
- In winning his first PGA TOUR title, he birdied Torrey Pines’ par-5 18th hole twice, thanks to a pair of clutch wedge shots.
- He hit his third shot in regulation, from 104 yards in the left rough, to 12 feet 11 inches.
- His third shot in the playoff, from 131 yards in the fairway, ended up 11 inches from the hole.
- Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill on winner’s SM9 setup: “He’s been very, very consistent with his wedge setup – 50.12F, 54.14F and 60T. We built him his SM9’s, he said everything looked great, we made sure everything was dialed in, and that was it. They went right in the bag.”
- “He chooses the 50.12 and the 54.14, just due to the fact that he does produce a nice divot. He is a little descending with it. And then in that 60 it’s kind of the opposite. He wants to be able to open up the face, he wants to feel like he has less bounce, especially in conditions like this, where he does get some baked out places where he needs to really have his wedge be versatile. And so for him, it’s kind of getting the best of both worlds. He needs a bunch of bounce in one club, and he needs very, very little in another. So I think that gives him the freedom to hit all the different wedge shots he needs to hit.”
- He ranked second in SG: Around-the-Green (+.708) for Sunday’s final round.
- For the week, he was fourth in SG: Approach (+5.45) and T8 in Scrambling (79%).
WITB | Farmers Insurance Open Winner
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1 golf ball
Wedges: NEW Vokey Design SM9 50.12F, 54.14F | True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 and NEW Vokey Design SM9 WedgeWorks 60T wedge | True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
2015 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER MAKES SWITCH TO NEW SM9’S
- NEW Vokey Design SM9 wedges were the top choice of players at the Farmers Insurance Open with a total of 149 SM9’s in play, 63 more than the nearest competitor’s total number of wedges.
- That list included the winner of the 2015 PGA Championship, who finished T3.
- Like the champion, he also added three NEW Vokey Design SM9 wedges (52.08F, 56.10S and WedgeWorks 60T) to his bag last week at The AmEx – including the sand wedge he used to make a hole-out eagle from 117 yards at the par-4 14th during the final round.
- He made the switch to SM9 from competitive models after working with Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill.
- “I checked in with him last week (at The American Express) and he was getting the flights and tons of spin that he liked, and said they were going right in the bag,” Dill said.
- “I had sent him a 60L and a 60T because I wanted him to try both and see which one he liked the most. And he said the 60T is perfect. He wants the ability to have a little bounce on square face shots, but he also wants to open up the face and see it sit really close. He’s got this somewhat shallow approach, which I think is why he’s such a good ball striker with the long irons. He can hit it really high, which usually means he’s relatively shallow with the wedges. So he can get away with a little bit less bounce, but he wants to open up the face and see it sit really close. So he’s loving the 60T.”
The second one is a 56-10. With the sand wedge he’s looking for more simplicity when it comes to the sole. He’s also looking for a little bit of relief, which is what makes the 56-10 with the S Grind a really good model. You’ve got your basic standard sole, but there’s a little ribbon on the back. And that’s just sort of the best of both worlds in the sense that he wants some fairway performance so he’s got the forward bounce, but he also wants to be able to take it greenside and open up the face and have it not sit too high, like the M Grind might. So it’s kind of a nice dual-purpose sole for him.”
“Then he goes into a 52F with eight degrees of bounce. It’s an extension of the iron set – like a 10-iron. And he is just looking for sort of something that cuts through the ground and cuts through quickly, and that’s where the eight-degree works a little better and feels better than a 12 (degrees of bounce) might.”
LPGA TOUR | Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio
Lydia Ko became the youngest player since 1979 to reach 17 LPGA victories, rolling her Pro V1x golf ball in for two birdies over the last four holes at Boca Rio to win by one shot.
- Ko, 24, closed in 3-under 69 to edge out last week’s winner, Titleist Brand Ambassador Danielle Kang.
- Over the final 36 holes, Ko was 5-for-5 in sand saves, including her tournament-winning up-and-down for par from a greenside bunker on the 72nd hole.
- For the week, she finished T1 in greens in regulation (79.2%).
KO’S SWITCH TO 2021 PRO V1x
- Lydia Ko switched to the 2021 Pro V1x golf ball late last season at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, following a trip to the Titleist Performance Institute to dial in her golf ball performance with Jeff Beyers, tour consultant for Titleist Golf Ball R&D.
- Ko, who had been playing a Pro V1x Left Dash, told Beyers she was looking for more spin, specifically mid irons, full wedges and around the green.
- “During our session at TPI we found that 2021 Pro V1x was giving Lydia exactly what she wanted in terms of flight and spin throughout the bag and gave her the added spin she felt she needed in her mid-irons and various wedge shots,” Beyers said. “As well as she had been playing with Left Dash, it looked like ’21 Pro V1x was going to be an easy transition and give her that extra control she wanted.”
WINNER PLAYS TSi DRIVER; 1-2 FINISH FOR TSi DRIVERS
- The winner of the Gainbridge LPGA played a TSi3 9.0° driver, which she put in play for the first time last week at the LPGA’s season opener.
- She made the switch to TSi3 – currently the most played driver on the PGA TOUR – from a competitive model, following an offseason fitting session with J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director of Player Promotions.
- “She had a great year last year, but as always, during the offseason she was looking for areas to improve,” Van Wezenbeeck said. “When we looked at her statistics, her driver accuracy didn’t really reflect how good she was with the other clubs in her bag. And so when we started evaluating, one of the things we found is that she had a mishit that was incredibly low spin. So we worked on increasing spin a little bit, and finding something that could stay in the air a little bit better with her shot shape. In testing TSI, we found a driver that was straighter and felt better to her, but also was 2mph faster ball speed.”
- Her win marked the second consecutive victory for TSi drivers to start the LPGA season, following Danielle Kang’s win last week with the same model (TSi3 9.0°).
- Kang finished second this week, one shot behind the winner – making it a 1-2 finish for TSi drivers in Boca Raton.
- Said Kang, on her TSi3 driver: “This Titleist driver, I absolutely love it. I used to play a competitor for a long time, but when I first hit this TSi3, I never felt better compression on the face, on the ball. My misses narrowed down. The dispersion of the driver was more compact, so I loved that feel. And driver’s really important because I really value being in the fairway so that I can utilize the irons. So I really like to be able to attack pins. I’m an aggressive player, and where I position myself off the tee is really important.”
DP WORLD TOUR | Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic
Viktor Hovland trusted his Pro V1 golf ball to an improbable comeback victory in Dubai, claiming his first Rolex Series title while moving to No. 3 in the World Ranking.
- It marked the third victory in five starts for Hovland, who closed in 6-under 66 – the best round of the day – with a birdie-eagle-birdie finish.
- His 3-hole, 4-under finale was highlighted by a “2” at the 359-yard par-4 17th, where he drove the green and rolled his Pro V1 in for eagle from 33 feet, 4 inches.
- He holed a similar length putt for birdie at the par-4 16th, and two-putted for birdie at the par-5 18th to force a playoff at 12 under with fellow Pro V1 player Richard Bland, who finished birdie-birdie to shoot 68.
- Hovland won with a par on the second playoff hole.
HOVLAND’S FOURTH WIN WITH 2021 PRO V1
- The Dubai Desert Classic marked Viktor Hovland’s fourth victory worldwide since moving to the 2021 Pro V1 golf ball in late April at the Zurich Classic.
- Hovland, who closed out 2021 with back-to-back victories at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and Hero World Challenge, decided to make the switch after using the ball on the range and during short-game practice at TOUR events, having noticed faster ball speeds with the driver and more control into and around the green.
- Said Hovland: “Around the greens I was able to get more spin, which is huge when you’re playing greens that are firm and fast. I don’t care how high you are launching it, you need spin to get the ball to stop. So, that was a big thing. But then as well with the driver, I started to notice the ball speeds were a little higher, and it wasn’t like it was just coming off hotter with more spin. It was faster and, if anything, maybe spinning a hair less with the driver. So overall, I picked up a couple of extra yards, which is nice. And then with the longer irons going into greens, I didn’t feel like it was under spinning or anything. It still maintained that very similar look as what I’ve been used to. So I thought it was great. At the end of the day, you need to hit the shot. But it helps when you have a ball that can optimize what you’re doing. If you can put the same swing and get another extra couple of yards off the tee, that’s huge because you literally just got better like that.”
Hovland on the consistency of his Pro V1
“I just always grew up with the Titleist Pro V1 feel and always loved it. There was not a thought in my head that occurred, ‘Oh, I should maybe try a different ball.’ Why would I? I was really happy with the consistency. I think there’s always been this consensus that you go in the pro shop and you buy a sleeve of balls, you’re going to get the same ball as the last time you bought the sleeve of balls. I think that consistency gives you that reassurance that you know what you’re going to get.”
How Hovland marks his Pro V1
“I usually just put a line on it, a black line, because I cannot putt without this, literally cannot aim. So I usually just try to get it as square as I can, fill up the whole area. I see a lot of guys put a bunch of circles or just random stuff on there. I feel like if I just have a black line, that’s unique enough because usually everyone else puts other stuff on there, so I just keep it simple.”
KORN FERRY TOUR | The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
Playing a Pro V1 golf ball, Brandon Harkins earned his first Korn Ferry Tour title on the second hole of a playoff with Zecheng Dou (Pro V1x).
- It was the first win in a PGA TOUR-sanction event for Harkins, who turned professional in 2010.
- He closed in 4-under 68 to force the overtime session with Dou at 18 under, as every player in the Top 6 played a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball.
- A month ago, Harkins and his wife Rachel celebrated the birth of their second son, Hunter. “It’s unbelievable. I’m starting to get a little bit emotional,” Harkins told PGATOUR.com. “This is for my wife and my two boys at home. My wife means the world to me, and she is the most supportive person I've ever met. She just always pushes me to be better, and she’s the best mom to our boys (Jackson and Hunter). This win, it feels great, but you know what, it’s for them, it’s for my family, my mom, my brother, everyone. Can’t wait to get home and give them a big hug.”
SUNSHINE TOUR | Vodacom Origins of Golf Final
Titleist Brand Ambassador Martin Rohwer claimed his second win on the Sunshine Tour, closing in 2-under 70 Sunday at Sun City to win by two shots over fellow Brand Ambassador Tristen Strydom.
- Strydom leapt up the leaderboard with a Sunday 64.
WITB | Martin Rohwer
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: TSi2 10.0°
Fairway Metal: TSi2 15.0°
Hybrid: TSi3 18.0°
Irons: 620 MB 4-9
Wedges: Vokey Design SM8 52.12F, 56.10S, 60.08M