Golf News for Wednesday, January 8, 2014 | Equipment

Titleist congratulates Zach Johnson on Hyundai Tournament of Champions win

FAIRHAVEN, Mass. -- Picking up where he left off in 2013 by winning the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, Zach Johnson earned his 11th official PGA TOUR title with a one-shot win over fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Jordan Spieth at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions … Johnson, who earned a spot in the field by capturing the 2013 BMW Championship, closed with a 7-under par 66, which tied for the best score of the day, en route to a 19-under par 273 victory total … The event was contested on the par 73 Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort in Maui that stretches to 7,452 yards … Johnson, who relies upon the Pro V1x golf ball, made it two wins in two events with the new set of AP2 (714) irons he put in the bag for the first time at the World Challenge last month … Johnson visited Titleist's Oceanside Test Facility in California early in the week of the World Challenge to work on his game and confirm his set composition ... He will be seeking an Hawaiian sweep when he heads to the Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu this week … He won the event in 2009.

Here is a complete list of Zach Johnson's Titleist equipment:
Pro V1x golf ball
913D2 (8.5) driver w/Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 73 X shaft
913Fd (15.0) fairway metal w/Fujikura Motore VC7.0 X shaft
913F (17.0) fairway metal w/Diamana Blue B80 X shaft
909H (21.0) hybrid w/Speeder 904 S shaft
AP1 4-iron (712) w/Dynamic Gold X100 steel shaft
AP2 (714) irons (5-9) w/Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Vokey Design SM4 pitching (48), sand (54) and lob (60) wedges w/Dynamic Gold S400 shafts

TOP CHOICE(S): Titleist topped the ball count at the Hyundai TOC with 19 (63%) players in the field of 30, nearly five times more than the nearest competitor with 4 ... With 19 more players trusting a Pro V1 or Pro V1x , Titleist increased its 2013-14 PGA TOUR player count to 453, more than five times the nearest competitor with 84 … With the wraparound schedule being utilized on the U.S. PGA and European Tours, Titleist already owns an overwhelming ball count of 840 players, compared to 134 for its nearest competitor … Titleist was also the Hyundai TOC favorite in irons (8/27%), wedges (26/39%) and putters (10/33%) ... Eight players (27%) also teed off with a Titleist driver, one shy of the leader.

TITLEIST LEADERBOARD: The top five finishers and eight of the top 10 all relied upon Titleist golf balls for their success at the Hyundai TOC. Following the 1-2 finish of Johnson (Pro V1x) and Spieth (Pro V1x) was fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Webb Simpson (Pro V1x) and Titleist golf ball loyalist Kevin Streelman (Pro V1x), who tied for third, a shot behind Spieth. Jason Dufner (Pro V1) was solo fifth, one shot ahead of fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott (Pro V1) and Titleist golf ball loyalist Billy Horschel (Pro V1x), who were among four players who tied for sixth … Horschel fired a final round 7-under par 66, tying Zach Johnson for low score of the day … Titleist golf ball loyalists have won six of the first seven events on the 2013-14 PGA TOUR … Even prior to his victory, Johnson led the Hyundai TOC field in official PGA TOUR victories with 10.

SPIETH AMONG TEE-THROUGH-GREEN LEADERS: After researching his performance stats, it was no surprise that Jordan Spieth threatened to earn his second career PGA TOUR title … Trusting Titleist equipment from tee-to-green, the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year finished 8th in Driving Distance (275.1 ypd), T2 in Greens in Regulation (83.33%), 4th in Strokes Gained Putting (1.005) and 10th in Putts Per Greens in Regulation (1.733). He also posted the tournament's second longest drive with a 396 yard blast on Monday and just two bogeys over 72 holes.

DUFNER SHOWS NEW METAL: Titleist Brand Ambassador Jason Dufner made some significant equipment changes this week. Dufner cracked his trusty Titleist 910D2 driver in December at the Templeton Shootout. It was the same driver he had in the bag for three years and used it to win the 2013 PGA Championship. Titleist Tour Rep Chris Tuten inserted the same Mitsubishi Diamana Ahina 60X shaft that Dufner had in the previous model into a new Titleist 913D2 (9.5) model and Dufner declared it a keeper after his first practice round. Statistically, Dufner tied for third in Driving Accuracy by hitting 83% of his fairways off the tee and tied for first in Eagles with 4 … Dufner also secured a new Titleist 913Fd (13.5) fairway metal (with a Mitsubishi Kurokage 70 shaft) that he put in the bag this week. On the greens, he used a new Scotty Cameron Squareback Plus prototype putter for the first time in competition. Dufner, who put the new AP2 (714) irons in his bag at the Bridgestone Invitational last year and won his first major a week later, described his current changes this way: "I think irons are probably the easiest things for us to change, maybe wedges, too, especially if you stay with the same grinds. But the driver and the ball and the wood seem to be pretty particular for me. I'm pretty specific about what I am looking for."

HAAS UNVEILS NEW IRONS...AND WEDGES: AT&T National winner Bill Haas unveiled a set of new AP2 (3-P) 714's in Kapalua, replacing his Titleist CB (712) model ... In addition to the new irons, the 5-time PGA TOUR champion is playing the new Vokey Design SM5 sand (54) and lob (60) wedges for the first time and also put in a new 913H (17) hybrid this week ... This marks the fourth consecutive year that Haas has played in the T of C following a pair of wins in 2010, and one each from 2011-13.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Adam Scott was named Male Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America. Scott made history by becoming the first Australian to win the Masters in April and then added a FedEx Cup playoff victory at The Barclays. He closed his memorable season by winning the Australian PGA and the Australian Masters, won the team portion of the World Cup of Golf, and was second by a shot in the Australian Open. For the year, the No. 2 ranked player in the world, played in 20 tournaments worldwide, won four of them, was top three eight times, top 10 in half of them, and never missed a cut. In addition to his win at the Masters,

Scott tied for third at the Open Championship and tied for fifth at the PGA Championship. He tied for sixth at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and will play at the Sony Open in Hawaii this week.

FIRST TIMERS: There were 13 first time winners on the PGA TOUR during the 2013 calendar year and all of them participated in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Nine of the 13 making their debut relied upon Titleist golf balls for 10 wins in 2013 ... Three of the first timers (John Merrick/Northern Trust Open, Jordan Spieth/John Deere Classic, Jimmy Walker/Frys.com) are also Titleist full product line brand ambassadors, trusting Titleist equipment from tee through green ... Three of them (Spieth, Billy Horschel/Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Streelman/Tampa Bay Championship) also finished inside the Top 30 on the FedExCup points list at the end of the 2013 campaign and participated in the season-ending TOUR Championship ... Spieth was named 2013 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year for his historic season-long performance ... Among Titleist's other first time participants are Michael Thompson (Honda Classic), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship) and Ken Duke (Travelers).