Rory McIlroy's world-class run continues with Honda Classic win
06 Mar 2012
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

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What's in the bag?: Rory McIlroy explains
FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (March 6, 2012) -- Titleist Brand Ambassador Rory McIlroy's journey to the winner's circle at The Honda Classic was less about four days of great golf than it was many, many months of it.

Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball and 14 Titleist clubs, McIlroy gutted out a two-shot victory Sunday evening at PGA National that brought into the spotlight his remarkable run of consistency.

Only once in his last 12 starts around the world has McIlroy finished outside the top 5 on the leader board.

It's a streak that started last September at the Omega European Masters. A couple weeks later at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, McIlroy was fit for his new Titleist MB (712 Series) irons and Vokey Design SM4 wedges and put them directly in the bag.

"I feel like I've always been a pretty confident guy. But I think I've got a lot more belief in myself now when I'm going down the stretch," said McIlroy, who closed with a 1-under 69 Sunday at PGA National for a 12-under 268 total.

He finished two shots ahead of two players, including fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Tom Gillis (Pro V1), who earned the best finish of his career.

It marked McIlroy's fifth win as a professional and third PGA Tour title, including his historic eight-shot victory at last year's U.S. Open.

In 2012, Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x players have combined for 23 wins across the worldwide professional tours, more than eight times the nearest competitor with three and more than all competitors combined.

All you need to know about McIlroy's week is in the statistics.

He led the field in Scrambling at 83.3 percent (21 of 25), solidifying his victory with a trio of up-and-downs on the back nine, two of them on PGA National's infamous "Bear Trap" (Hole Nos. 15 through 17).

All of them with a Vokey Design SM4 60•04º wedge in his hands.

McIlroy faced his toughest lie of the week at the par-4 14th, his Pro V1x barely visible under the long rough, 65 yards from the hole. He powered his SM4 wedge through the grass and watched his Pro V1x hit and stop 4 feet from the cup.

"The up‑and‑down at 14 was probably the best one I had made all week," he said.

On the par-13 15th, McIlroy was faced with a dangerous shot toward the water from the back bunker. He pulled his Vokey Design SM4 60•04º wedge, blasted his Pro V1x out to 6 feet and made par.

He did it again from a bunker on the par-3 17th, his ball stopping 4 feet from the hole.

"My short game all week has been very good, and it's what you need on a tough golf course like this," said McIlroy, who one-putted for of his final six holes. "I was able to do that, especially on 15 and 17. I needed to make pars there."

McIlroy finished among the top 10 in several other key statistical categories. He was eighth in Driving Distance (297.6 yards) and Sand Saves (77.8%), tied for 10th in Greens in Regulation (66.7%), tied for 6th in Putts Per Round (27.3), and was 5th in Strokes Gained-Putting (1.566).

McIlroy was one of 91 players in the field that relied on a Titleist golf ball for their success, more than four times the nearest competitor with 19 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist was also No. 1 in sand, lob and approach wedges (121); and putters (55).

• NATIONWIDE TOUR: Edward Loar (Pro V1x) broke a five-way tie with a birdie on Sunday's 16th hole and parred in to win the Panama Claro Championship. Loar sealed the victory with a 6-foot par putt on Panama Golf Club's 18th green.

It marked the first career Nationwide Tour title for Loar, who posted a 4-under par 276 victory total. He finished one shot clear of four players, including Cameron Percy (Pro V1) and Ryan Armour (Pro V1x).

Titleist was the overwhelming golf ball of choice at the Panama Claro Championship with 90 players, more than six times the nearest competitor and more than all other golf balls combined. Titleist was also first in iron sets (36); sand, lob and approach wedges (120); and putters.

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