A Winning Start Around the World
Jonathan Byrd used a Titleist Pro V1 golf ball in winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and opening this new year like never before.
Byrd's playoff victory Sunday in Hawaii was the fifth and most significant win of his PGA Tour career, qualifying him this season for the Masters, U.S. Open and at least one World Golf Championship, not to mention a trip back to Kapalua's Plantation Course next January to defend his title.
"I'm pretty overwhelmed, probably, is the best word to describe it," said Byrd, who made par on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to outlast Pro V1 loyalist Robert Garrigus. Both players closed in 6-under 67 to finish at 24-under 268.
Byrd and Garrigus were two of 18 players in the winners-only field that trusted Titleist golf balls, three times the nearest competitor with six and more than all other competitors combined. Titleist was also first in Iron Sets (10); Sand, Lob and Approach Wedges (25) and Putters (T-10).
Last October, Byrd qualified for the Tournament of Champions quite famously with a hole-in-one to win a three-way playoff at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open. Never before had someone closed out a PGA Tour event with an ace, nevermind one in Las Vegas. (Garrigus also earned a late invitation to Kapalua, winning the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World in November.)
As it turns out, Byrd's hand was just heating up.
"I can't sit here and not think about where I was toward the end of the season last year fighting for my card, and was content with that, you know, and just kind of fighting to play well and finding joy in that process, too," Byrd said.
"Then I win my last tournament of the year, and win it in that fashion, and then get to come to Maui to play in this event, and then feel good coming into here, and work hard in the off-season and get back in contention and find myself in another playoff and win another tournament. I'm just thankful, I'm overwhelmed, I'm grateful – all of that above."
Garrigus' Hawaiian invitational a
Byrd's victory was one of three on the weekend for Titleist Brand Ambassadors and golf ball loyalists. So far this season, 465 players have trusted Titleist golf balls across the worldwide professional tours, almost six times the nearest competitor with 78 and more than all competitors combined.
EUROPEAN TOUR: Pro V1x loyalist Louis Oosthuizen birdied the first hole of a three-way all-Titleist Pro V1x playoff to win the Africa Open in his native South Africa.
Oosthuizen hit his approach on the playoff hole to 8 feet then rolled in his Pro V1x golf ball for birdie and his first victory since last summer's Open Championship at St. Andrews.
"It's been one of those weeks where the putter was very cold, but my caddie kept me calm and said it would go in eventually," said Oosthuizen.
"So I kept on trying and made that nice one on the last which I will remember."
Oosthuizen also made a 12-footer for birdie on the 18th hole at East London Golf Club to force the playoff with fellow Pro V1x loyalists Chris Wood and Manuel Quiros.
Titleist was the overwhelming top choice in golf balls at the Africa Open with 117 players, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 14.
Of the 13 players who finished among the top 10 and ties, nine relied upon Titleist golf balls, including four of whom played New Pro V1 or Pro V1x prototypes.
AUSTRALASIAN TOUR: Titleist Brand Ambassador Paul Sheehan captured the first event on the 2011 Australasian Tour schedule, posting an 8-under 276 total to claim the Victorian Open. Sheehan finished two shots better than fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Matthew Griffin.
“My putting and my chipping today was just unbelievable," said Sheehan. "Every hole I had to work for my pars and it was a real challenge.”
Sheehan and Griffin were two of 116 players in the field that trusted Titleist golf balls, more than eight times the nearest competitor with 16. Of the 12 players who finished among the Top 10 and ties, 10 trusted a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x for their success.