FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (Feb. 4, 2013) -- Seven of the top 10 finishers at the Waste Management Phoenix Open relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success, including Titleist Brand Ambassador Scott Piercy (Pro V1x, 910D2 driver, 913F fairway metal, MB/AP2 irons, Vokey Design SM4 wedges, Scotty Cameron GoLo putter) who fired a final round best 10-under 61 to move into solo third place, five shots behind the winner. Piercy topped the field in Strokes Gained-Putting (2.987) and Putting Average (1.526), and was third in Total Putting (24.8), trusting his Scotty Cameron by Titleist Select GoLo on the greens.
New 2013 Pro V1x golf ball loyalists Ryan Moore and Ryan Palmer finished solo fourth and fifth, respectively, while Titleist Brand Ambassadors Bill Haas (Pro V1x, 910D2 driver, 913F fairway metal, 913Hd hybrid, CB irons, Vokey Design SM4 wedges, Scotty Cameron Tour Rat prototype putter), Brendon de Jonge (Pro V1x, 913D3 driver, 913Fd fairway metal, AP2 irons, Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges, Scotty Cameron Kombi putter) and Brendan Steele (New 2013 Pro V1x, 910D3 driver, 909F2 fairway metal, 910F fairway metal, 913Hd hybrid, MB irons, Vokey Design SM4 wedges) were in a three-way tie for sixth. Padraig Harrington (Pro V1x) tied for ninth in his first appearance at the event.
Titleist was the top choice in golf balls (87/66%), wedges (134/43%) and putters (48/36%) among the field of 132 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Titleist golf balls were played by nearly five times more players as the nearest competitor with 18. A total of 58 players at the event relied upon the New 2013 Pro V1 (11) or Pro V1x (45) that began shipping to golf shops worldwide last week.
Despite a T9 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open, Titleist Brand Ambassador Bill Haas felt he was struggling with his putting this year (165th in Strokes Gained-Putting and 173rd in Total Putting), so when he arrived at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, he brought the Scotty Cameron Tour Rat prototype he used when he returned to a conventional putter length at the 2012 RBC Heritage. Haas had the Titleist Tour Van team extend the Tour Rat from 35 to 36 inches, and he improved considerably (31st in Strokes Gained-Putting and 56th in Total Putting) in both statistical categories, resulting in his best finish of the year (T6).
Brendan Steele's hard work on the on the practice range paid off with a T6 finish this week. Steele was seeking to fill yardage gaps from his 5-iron to 3-wood, and worked with Titleist Tour representatives Scott Cuppett and Jim Curran on a pair of 913Hd hybrids (20 and 23 degrees) and a new 712U prototype 4-iron. Steele was very pleased with the new options that satisfied his requirements of accurate distance, proper ball flight and holding the green. Steele put the new 23 degree 913Hd into play this week and said he will work the 20 degree Titleist 913Hd hybrid and 712U utility iron into the bag in future weeks depending upon course conditions and set up. Statistically, Steele led the field in par 5 performance (-11) and par 5 scoring average (4.08).
When asked about the confidence he has in his equipment at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Padraig Harrington offered these words about his Titleist golf ball: "Whatever equipment you have, you've got to have absolute belief in it ... I've been very lucky in that sense. The Titleist Pro V1x is the best ball in the game, no doubt about it ... I'm pretty happy when I tee it up that I've got the equipment to go out there and win tournaments." Harrington went out and posted a T9 finish that included an opening round 7-under 64 and third round 8-under 63.
EUROPEAN TOUR WINNEROmega Dubai Desert Classic New 2013 Pro V1x golf ballScotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Select Newport putter
Playing the new 2013 Titleist Pro V1x golf ball for the first time in competition, the champion of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic earned his second career European Tour title in dramatic fashion. The three-shot victory was sealed on the par 4 16th hole Sunday, when he holed a 110-yard shot for eagle, his fifth of the week, while his nearest competitor bogeyed.
The winner had done little testing with the new 2013 Pro V1x until Monday and then played nine holes with it on Tuesday when he decided to put it into play immediately. He grew up playing in Scotland and prefers a lower, penetrating ball flight which he found with the new 2013 Pro V1x.
The victory was the fourth consecutive for Titleist golf ball players on the 2013 European Tour, but the first for the winner since capturing the Dunhill Links Championships in October 2004. He joins Chris Wood (Qatar Masters), Jamie Donaldson (Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship) and Louis Oosthuizen (Volvo Golf Champions) in Titleist's 2013 European Tour Winners' Circle.
The champion, who closed with a 1-under-par 71 en route to a tournament record-tying 22-under 266 victory total, said: "I've holed four shots this week but you've got to do that these days to win. You need that little bit of magic. I'm obviously delighted. It's taken a long time, but it's sweeter now." He also relied upon a Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport putter for his success.
Felipe Aguilar (New 2013 Pro V1x) ) tied for third at 17-under, while Lee Westwood (New 2013 Pro V1x) tied for fifth, another stroke back.
Like the winner, Westwood was also playing the new 2013 Pro V1x golf ball in competition for the first time. The World No. 8 entering the week met up with Titleist golf ball tour representative Fordie Pitts at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando one week prior to the start of the event. They were on a workshop panel that also included Titleist brand Ambassador Zach Johnson and Bill Morgan, the head of Titleist Golf Ball Research & Development, announcing the launch of the new 2013 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls to Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff members and club professionals. After discussing Westwood's feel, spin and launch condition requirements in detail, Pitts had four dozen of the new golf balls overnighted to Westwood's home in Florida, which Lee practiced with, brought to Dubai, and put into play to finish among the top 5.