FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (July 18, 2011) -- Tied for the lead in the 17th fairway Sunday at the Viking Classic, Titleist Brand Ambassador Chris Kirk stood over his Titleist Pro V1x golf ball with a new Prototype Titleist CB (712 Series) 9-iron waggling in his hands.
Kirk knew the distance was perfect (140 yards), no matter the dangerous pin position, tucked just over a pond in the front right corner of the green.
"It was 140 yards and it was a 9-iron, so I was aiming right at the pin and nowhere else," he told PGATour.com. "That was my only thought."
His Pro V1x never left the flagstick, landing 4 feet from the cup. Kirk grabbed his Scotty Cameron Del Mar putter and tapped in for the birdie that propelled him to his first PGA Tour victory, one of three wins on the weekend for Titleist golf ball players around the globe.
Titleist Brand Ambassadors Hunter Haas and Bud Cauley both closed with 5-under 67s to tie for fourth.
A PGA Tour rookie, Kirk became the second player in three weeks to find the winner's circle on the PGA Tour gaming a set of prototype Titleist irons (CB), following Titleist Brand Ambassador Nick Watney's victory using new Prototype Titleist AP2 irons at the AT&T National, where the seeding and tour validation process for the 712 Series irons began. Pernice Jr. also had new Prototype AP2 irons in his bag this week at Annandale.
Like many players, Kirk got his first look at the new prototype irons that Tuesday at AT&T National. A day later, Kirk was on the Titleist Tour Van asking the team if they could ship his previous set of irons home.
Kirk, who went on to finish tied for eighth that week at Aronimink Golf Club, called the irons "awesome" after his initial testing session. He liked the look and feel of the new Prototype CBs and said they felt "faster through the turf."
This week at the Viking Classic, Kirk led the field in birdies with 23, eight of those coming in his bogey-free 8-under 64 in Round 3. Kirk, who finished tied for second earlier this season at the Shell Houston Open, totaled just four bogeys for the entire week.
Kirk was one of 88 players at the Viking Classic that played a Titleist golf ball more than six times the nearest competitor with 17 and more than all competitors combined.Titleist also was first in iron sets (36), including 18 sets of the new Prototype Titleist (712 Series) irons; sand, lob and approach wedges (109); and putters (51). • ONEASIA TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Thaworn Wiratchant won the Indonesia Open for his first title on the OneAsia Tour and his 15th title in the Asia region.
Wiratchant closed with a 1-over par 73, chipping his Pro V1x to within inches on the 18th hole to secure a one-shot victory at 13-under 275 and avoid a sudden-death playoff with three players: Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jin-ho Choi, Michael Hendry and Pro V1x loyalist Rory Hie.
Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the event with 123 players, more than fifteen times the nearest competitor with eight and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist also was first in fairway metals (56); hybrids (60); and iron sets (65). Titleist was second in drivers (43), including 35 910D2 or 910D3 drivers; and putters (36).
• CANADIAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Tom Hoge made history at the Canadian Tour Players Cup as a Monday qualifier, shooting four rounds in the 60s for a two-shot victory.
Hoge, who played his college golf at TCU, became the first player in Canadian Tour history to advance through a Monday qualifier and then win the event since the tour began in 1986.
And to think, Hoge almost missed his Monday qualifier tee time because someone had given him wrong directions to the course.
"It's kinda crazy that I was 10 minutes away from almost missing the qualifier and now here I am," said Hoge, who closed with a 6-under 66 for a 16-under 268 total and his first professional victory.
"I played great along the way and it has been a lot of fun with all of the support from the fans and volunteers, it has been a great week," he said.
With the victory, Hoge earns a two-year exemption on the Canadian Tour as well as an invitation into the field at this week's RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour.
• THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at The Open Championship with 99 players, nearly five times the nearest competitor with 21 and more than all competitors combined.
The winner of the event played a Scotty Cameron R&D Prototype Concept 1 putter, also known as the "Tour Rat."
Titleist Brand Ambassador Rickie Fowler earned his first top-5 finish in a major championship, playing the new Prototype Titleist MB irons for the first time in competition.
Titleist was also first in hybrids (23); iron sets (45); and sand, lob and approach wedges (141).
• NATIONWIDE TOUR: At the Chiquita Classic, 110 players relied on Titleist golf balls for their success, more than seven times the nearest competitor with 15 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist also was first in iron sets (50); sand, lob and approach wedges (156); and putters (64).