FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (May 16, 2011) -- Pro V1 loyalist K.J. Choi turned The Players Championship into a showcase of shot-making control and determination, trusting his Titleist Pro V1 golf ball to the biggest win of his career to date while leading a 1-2-3-4-5 finish for Titleist golf ball players.
On Sunday at TPC Sawgrass, one of the PGA Tour's toughest tests of skill and staying power, Choi put together a victory march that was equal parts consistent and clutch.
With heavy rains having postponed most of Saturday's play, Choi woke up Sunday morning with 27 holes still ahead of him. He eventually celebrated his victory on hole No. 28, two-putting for par on the par-3 17th to win an all-Pro V1 playoff – the eighth victory of his PGA Tour career and 16th international victory overall.
So far in 2011, Titleist golf ball players have combined for 49 victories across the worldwide professional tours, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 10 and more than all competitors combined. A total of 6,256 players have played Titleist golf balls in competition this season, more than six times the nearest competitor with 1,023 and more than all competitors combined.
Choi, who turns 41 on May 19, played his 28-hole finale in 4 under par, rolling his Pro V1 golf ball in for two birdies over his final seven holes of regulation, including a 10-footer for birdie on the par-3 17th that got him into the playoff at 13-under 275 (70-68-67-70), guaranteeing him his fifth top-10 finish of the season.
"Yeah, this course, you know, the back nine is really difficult and puts a lot of pressure on me. But, you know, for some reason today I felt very comfortable out there. …," said Choi, who made only two bogeys on the back nine the entire week, playing those 36 holes in 10 under par.
"The swing that I have right now doesn't really break down under pressure situations. I was able to hit it precise and aggressive today, and I was able to keep my rhythm together. And I think that's what contributed to the performance."
Nine of the 11 players who finished among the top 10 and ties relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success as well as the top five players on the leaderboard, including Pro V1 loyalist Paul Goydos (3rd, 11-under, 277) and Pro V1x loyalist Luke Donald and Titleist Brand Ambassador Nick Watney (T-4, 10-under 278).
Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at The Players Championship with 90 players, six times the nearest competitor with 15 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also was first in Hybrids (35); Iron Sets (41); Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (121); and Putters (48).
Choi's shot of the tournament came toward the end of regulation at the par-3 island-green 17th, a hole as famous as it is fickle. Tied for the lead, Choi sent his Pro V1 golf ball cutting over the lake toward the treacherous front-right pin. It hit the downslope, checked up slightly and rolled below the hole to 10 feet. Choi made the putt to a chorus of cheers from the gallery.
Choi actually played the 17th hole three times Sunday. He got up-and-down for par the first time during Round 3, made birdie during Round 4 and two-putted for par in the playoff.
No. 17, it gives you pressure, to anyone that plays that hole. … But that hole, the moment the ball leaves the club face, there's no -- you have to just -- you can't control it; it's gone.." said Choi.
"You know, it's very hard to land the ball in the exact area that you want to on that green. So, yes, there was a lot of pressure, but that hole is going to do that to you."
• ASIAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Berry Henson earned his first Asian Tour crown with a hard-fought victory at the ICTSI Philippine Open.
Henson closed with a 1-over 73 in grueling, windy conditions, rolling his Pro V1x golf ball in for par on the 18th hole at Wack Wack Golf & Country Club for a 5-under 283 total and one-shot victory over Pro V1x loyalist Jay Bayron.
“I’m beat. I felt like I went through 72 rounds with Manny Pacquaio this week. I came into a hostile environment and it was really tough for me. It was a hard win,” Henson said.A typhoon that struck the country at the beginning of the week resulted in difficult weather conditions the entire event.
“This is by far the biggest win in my career and it has pushed me way up on the rankings. My goal this year was to finish in the top-40 on the money list and I know this win sets me up nicely."
Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 102 players (68%) in the field of 150, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 21. Titleist also was first in Iron Sets (36); and Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (107).
• EUROPEAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Iberdola Open with 97 players, more than five times the nearest competitor with 19, including runner-up and Pro V1x loyalist Chris Wood.
• SUNSHINE TOUR: A total of 51 players at the Nashua Golf Challenge trusted Titleist golf balls for their success, more than twice the nearest competitor with 19, including runner-up and Titleist Brand Ambassador Trevor Fisher Jr.
• JAPAN TOUR: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the at the Japan PGA Championship with 61 players. Titleist also was first in Hybrids (36); and Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (98).
• KOREAN TOUR: Eight of the 11 players who finished among the Top 10 and ties at the Volvik Gunsan C.C. Open played Titleist golf balls, including runner-up and Pro V1 loyalist HoSung Choi. Titleist was the most played golf ball at the event with 106 players, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 15 and more than all competitors combined.