Titleist golf ball loyalist Ken Duke captured his first-career PGA Tour title with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff at the Travelers Championship. Trusting the Drop-and-Stop performance of the Pro V1 golf ball, Duke confidently fired his final approach shot inside 3 feet and converted the putt for his maiden victory.
Duke was one of 104 Titleist players in the field of 156, more than six times the nearest competitor with 16. He also topped a leader board that was covered with the names of Titleist golf ball loyalists, including 10 of the 12 players who finished among the top 10 and ties.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Graham DeLaet (Pro V1x, 913D3 driver, 913F fairway metal, CB/MB irons, Vokey Design SM4 sand and lob wedges, Scotty Cameron Newport Tour putter) finished a stroke out of the playoff in third, while Bubba Watson (Pro V1x) finished fourth, two shots behind the winner.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson posted bookend 5-under par 65s on Thursday and Sunday to finish in a tie for fifth place, three shots out of the playoff. Angel Cabrera (Pro V1x) and Rickie Fowler (Pro V1) were the only two players who posted better scores than Simpson on Sunday. Cabrera closed with a 7-under 63 to finish T-9, while Fowler fired a final round 6-under 64 to finish T-13.
The best round of the week went to Titleist Brand Ambassador Charley Hoffman (Pro V1x, 913D2 driver, CB/MB irons, Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges, Scotty Cameron by Titleist GoLo 5 putter), who shot a 9-under par 61 on Thursday. Hoffman eventually finished T-7 for his fifth top-10 finish of the year.
NOTES FROM AROUND THE WORLDWIDE PROFESSIONAL TOURS
WEB.COM TOUR: Rex Hospital Open
- Of the 156-player field, 108 relied upon Titleist golf balls, more than six times the nearest competitor with 16.
- With a performance fit for a Hollywood script, Raleigh native and Titleist Brand Ambassador Chesson Hadley fired a final round 7-under 64 to cap off a storybook winning effort in front of his family and friends.
- Hadley waited out a lengthy rain delay before chasing down the 54-hole leader to win by two and earn his first-career title. He was five strokes behind the leader entering Sunday’s closing round.
- On Sunday, he played the final 10 holes in 7 under, including a birdie his final hole to secure the outright lead at 19 under.
- Hadley fired four rounds in the 60s, including an opening round 8-under 63.
- What’s in the Bag?: Pro V1x, 913D3 driver (9.5), 910F fairway metal (13.5), 712U utility iron (3), MB irons (4-P), Vokey Design SM4 TVD gap (52), sand (56) and lob (60) wedges.
- It was an emotional win for Hadley, who was born at Rex Hospital nearly 26 years ago.
- Said Hadley: “Honestly I can’t believe I won this. This is the greatest thing that has happened in my golfing career. It’s a dream come true.”
- Hadley advanced from No. 88 to No. 3 on the Web.com Tour money list in the span of five weeks, posting four top-10s in his last five starts: T-3/BMW Charity Pro-Am, T-6/Mexico Open, 2nd/Mid-Atlantic Championship, MC/Air Capital Classic, Winner/Rex Hospital Open.
- Titleist golf ball loyalists have won 10 times on the Web.com Tour, more than three times the nearest competitor (3).
JAPAN TOUR: Japan Golf Tour Championship
- Satoshi Kodaira, a 23-year old "Young Gun" from Japan, earned his first-career JGTO title by one shot over fellow Titleist Brand Ambassadors and Pro V1x loyalists S.K. Ho of Korea and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand.
- The win earns Kodaira a five-year exemption on the Japan Golf Tour, as well as an invitation to the WGC-bstone Invitational in August.
- What’s in Satoshi Kodaira’s Bag?: Pro V1x, 910D3 driver (9.5), 909H hybrid (17.0), 913Hd hybrid (20.0), MB irons (4-9), Vokey Design pitching (48), gap (52) and lob (58) wedges, Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter.