PGA TOUR | The Players Championship
Titleist Brand Ambassador Cameron Smith played 26 holes Monday at TPC Sawgrass, making 11 birdies – including 10 over his final 18 holes, the most final-round birdies ever by a PLAYERS Champion – in claiming the biggest victory of his career.
- It marked the fifth PGA TOUR victory for the 28-year-old Smith, and second win of 2022 following his win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
- Playing a Pro V1x golf ball, TSi3 driver, NEW T100 irons, NEW Vokey Design SM9 wedges and Scotty Cameron putter, Smith emerged from the five-day, weather-plagued PLAYERS Championship at 13 under, one shot ahead of Anirban Lahiri (Pro V1).
- He one-putted eight of his final nine holes to post a closing 6-under 66, his final birdie coming on TPC Sawgrass’ island-green 17th.
- Smith hit his tee shot to No. 17 just right of the traditional final-round back-right pin placement, 4 feet, 4 inches from the hole, the second-closest of any player in Round 4.
- Said Smith of his tee shot on 17: “I struck the ball really well. It was the shot that I wanted to play. I just thought the wind was going to kind of hold it up for most of the way. It actually kind of drifted right and then held its line at the end there. Yeah, heart was in the throat there for a second, but I knew it was the right club.”
- Smith also birdied 17 Monday morning while finishing Round 3.
- With the win, Smith moves to No. 6 in the World Ranking, his highest position ever.
What's in Cam Smith's Titleist Golf Bag?
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TSi3 10.0° | Fujikura Ventus Blue 60 X
Fairway Metals: TSi2 15.0° | Fujikura Ventus Blue 80 X and TS2 21.0° | UST Mamiya Elements Red 8F5 X
Irons: NEW T100 5-9 | KBS Tour 130 Custom Matte Black X
Wedges: NEW Vokey Design SM9 46.10F, 52.08F, 56.08M, 60.10S | KBS Tour 130 Custom Matte Black X
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M tour prototype
TOP-4 SWEEP FOR TITLEIST GOLF BALL PLAYERS
- Cameron Smith topped a leaderboard that featured Titleist golf ball players in the top four positions:
- Cameron Smith: Pro V1x
- Anirban Lahiri: Pro V1
- Paul Casey: Pro V1
- Kevin Kisner: Pro V1x
- Titleist was the overwhelming most played golf ball at TPC Sawgrass with 102 players (71%), more than seven times the nearest competitor (14).
- Smith’s win marked win No. 11 for Titleist golf ball players over the last 14 PGA TOUR events and 13th overall for the 2021-22 season.
- Smith put his 2021 Pro V1x in play the first week it was available at the 2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
- A month later, he teed the ball up at Augusta National, where he became the first player in Masters history to post four rounds in the 60’s.
- “The biggest thing for me with the [2021 Pro V1x] is the cover and the stickiness it gives me around the greens. I feel as though I can hit a lot of different scoring shots into and around the green... For me, when I tested it, it was a bit hotter off the driver, which was great. The windows were great. The spin was still the same. The irons were basically the same which I love. But for me, the biggest thing that stuck out was the control coming out of the rough and around the greens. So like inside 40-50 yards, just the stickiness of it. I feel as though I can control my shots, especially those difficult, soft shots, just so much better with that new cover they got on there. … I love to be creative around the green, so hitting those high, spinny shots and just being able to hit different shots is really important for me.”
- Smith led the PLAYERS field in average proximity to the hole from 50-125 yards, averaging 9 feet, 1 inch, while ranking fifth in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach (+1.66 per round).
- “I think it’s just how it travels through the wind. I think they’ve done a lot of work on that and this new ball is fantastic in the wind,” he said. “It’s just consistent. I feel like I can really dial in my numbers, especially with the shorter irons, and give myself plenty of bird looks.”
- “I’ll always put it straight in,” Smith said regarding new generation Titleist golf balls. “I trust what they’re doing with it. After a couple of tournaments I’m always comfortable in knowing what it will do. I’ve been playing the Pro V1x since I was about 15 years old and never changed.”
1-2-3 FINISH FOR TSi DRIVERS; 1-2-3-4 FOR VOKEY WEDGES
- In addition to playing a Titleist golf ball, every player in the Top 3 positions on the final leaderboard played a Titleist TSi driver and Vokey Design wedges, while the fourth-place finisher also had Vokeys in the bag:
- Cameron Smith: TSi3 10.0° driver, NEW Vokey Design SM9 (46.10F, 52.08F, 56.08M, 60.10S) wedges
- Second-place finisher: TSi3 10.0° driver; NEW Vokey Design SM9 (50.12F) & SM8 (WedgeWorks 54.08M, 60.08AD+) wedges
- Third-place finisher: TSi3 9.0° driver; Vokey Design SM7 (52.08F, 56.10S) & SM8 (WedgeWorks 60T) wedges
- Fourth-place finisher: Vokey Design SM8 (46.10F) & NEW SM9 (WedgeWorks 60T) wedges
- The top choice of players on the PGA TOUR, TSi drivers were the most played driver at TPC Sawgrass with 46 players gaming either a TSi2, TSi3 or TSi4 driver.
- In total, 47 players used a Titleist driver (33%), compared to 34 (24%) for the nearest competitor.
- Said Smith: “There’s a reason why it’s the best driver on tour. It’s perfect. I feel like when I’m comfortable and I’m hitting it out the middle, it’s just going to go dead straight and as long as you want. … The biggest thing for me is just a little bit more pop off the face. I probably gained three or four meters in the air and it’s just a lot more consistent. The spin’s a lot more consistent. It’s just a great driver.”
- In January at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Smith earned the first victory for the NEW Vokey Design SM9 wedges as the new models made their PGA TOUR debut.
- This week at The PLAYERS, there were more Vokey Design gap, sand and lob wedges (206) in play than all competitors combined, with 35% (142) of all gap, sand and lob wedges in play being SM9, already the overwhelming most played wedge on TOUR.
- Smith didn’t get his hands on his new SM9’s until the Monday morning of Sentry, when he found them sitting in his locker at Kapalua, a delivery from Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill.
- Smith carried both his SM8’s and SM9’s during the practice rounds, but stepped to the tee for Round 1 with four new SM9’s in the bag.
- “I put them in the bag straight away. They’re great,” he said. “For me the biggest difference in these new ones is the longer ones, the 46 and the 52, I feel like I’m able to flight a little bit more. (Kapalua) was so receptive and I felt like I could keep being aggressive, I didn’t have to worry about the ball spinning off the front of the green. They set up the courses pretty tricky for us and these are the ones that help us make all the birdies and those really good pars, so you’ve got to be able to rely on them.”
SMITH’S HISTORIC PUTTING PERFORMANCE
- Cameron Smith and his Scotty Cameron 009M tour prototype putter made history at The PLAYERS, as he gained the most strokes putting versus the field in tournament history (+2.88 per round).
- He also finished with the most one-putts every by a PLAYERS champ (42), while one-putting eight of his final nine holes Monday.
- “I’ve always been a little bit of a fiddler with the putter, but yeah, I just really like this one,” said Smith, who changed to the Newport-style 009M model at the 2021 Sony Open. “It just feels great in the hands. I feel like I’m able to hit really good lag putts with it, which is a big thing out here. We leave ourselves some pretty nasty putts sometimes. I feel like I’m able to get the ball rolling real good. And the biggest thing for me is the strike. So I just feel like I hit lots of good putts with it out of the middle and it feels so good.
- “I've always loved the (alignment) dot on top. I’ve never been a line guy. I feel like I can just feel the putt a little bit better. When I don’t get so obsessed with the line, I feel like I'm able to just hit a good putt and a good putt out of the middle means more chances of going in.”
SMITH ON HIS NEW T100 IRONS
- Cameron Smith’s ballstriking was on full display at TPC Sawgrass, as he gained 1.66 shots on the field per round with his approach shots (ranking fifth).
- Smith games NEW T100 irons (with a prototype black finish) that he put into play immediately at last season’s Travelers Championship.
- “I put these in as soon as we got them. They’ve been really good,” Smith said. “I love the consistency. I think they did a lot of really good work, especially on the shorter irons with grinding this heel a little bit. So when you get a bit of an uneven lie, you don’t feel like the heel's digging in and you’re missing shots left.”
LPGA | Honda LPGA Thailand
Nanna Koerstz Madsen captured her first LPGA victory Sunday in Thailand, rolling her Pro V1x golf ball in from 10 feet for eagle to win on the second hole of a playoff.
- Madsen posted rounds of 65-64-66-67 at Siam CC’s Pattaya Old Course, making 28 birdies, one eagle and just four bogeys for the week.
- With the win, Madsen, 27, became the first LPGA winner from Denmark.
- “It’s amazing. It’s a dream come true,” she said. “It was a crazy day; a lot of good things. … I’m really excited to be standing with the trophy right now.”
TITLEIST GOLF BALL PLAYERS 5-FOR-5 ON 2022 LPGA
- Nanna Koerstz Madsen's breakthrough win at the Honda LPGA Thailand marked the fifth-consecutive victory for Titleist golf ball players to start the LPGA season.
- The first five winners of 2022:
- Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Pro V1x), Honda LPGA Thailand;
- Jin Young Ko (Pro V1), HSBC Women's World Championship;
- Leona Maguire (Pro V1), LPGA Drive On Championship;
- Lydia Ko (Pro V1x), Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio; and
- Danielle Kang (Pro V1x); Hilton Grand Vacations LPGA Tournament of Champions.
KANG MAKES FOURTH-CAREER ACE
- Titleist Brand Ambassador Danielle Kang, made her fourth-career hole-in-one Sunday, holing her Pro V1x golf ball from 132 yards on the par-3 8th with her Titleist CB 9-iron.
- It was her first ace since 2014, when she made three that season.
- Said Kang: “All I thought was like I think I’m due for a hole-out. Might as well just do it here. And then I saw it tracking and then I went, ‘No way.’ It landed and I was like, ‘No way.’ Because normally sometimes it sits. It’s soft out here. I was like, ‘Wait a second, it’s actually rolling … and it went in and everyone screamed.”
PGA TOUR AUSTRALASIA | TPS Hunter Valley
Titleist Brand Ambassador Aaron Pike birdied the third playoff hole to outlast Momoka Kobori (Pro V1) and capture his third PGA TOUR Australasia title.
- Pike clinched the victory with a stunning pitching wedge to 2 feet, tapping in his Pro V1x golf ball for the victory.
- Pike’s win follows last week’s victory by fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Jarryd Felton, and marks win No. 5 for Titleist golf ball players this season.
- Titleist swept every equipment category at TPS Hunter Vallery, including golf balls (123 players/85%) and drivers (76/53%).
What’s in Aaron Pike’s Titleist Golf Bag?
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TSi3 9.0°
Fairway Metal: TSi2 15.0°
Utility Iron: U•505 (3)
Irons: NEW T100 4-9
Wedges: Vokey Design SM8 46.10F, 52.08F, 56.08M, WedgeWorks 60A
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11 tour prototype