Titleist Brand Ambassador Wyndham Clark broke the course record by two shots Saturday at Pebble Beach Golf Links, tapping his Pro V1x in for birdie on the 18th hole for a 12-under 60 – and an eventual one-shot victory following the final round’s cancellation due to weather.
The reigning U.S. Open champion, gaming a TSR3 driver, 620 CB irons and NEW Vokey Design SM10 wedges, played the front nine in 28 with a pair of eagles and four birdies. He added five more birdies (to just one bogey) on the back, coming up just inches short of 59 or lower with tap-in pars on Nos. 16 and 17 and his two-putt birdie on 18.
Clark, who led a 1-2-3 finish for Titleist golf ball players, hit 16 of 18 greens on the day at Pebble, while gaining more than three strokes on the field on approach shots (+3.088/3rd).
Titleist Brand Ambassador Ludvig Åberg (Pro V1x) finished one behind Clark, while last week’s champion, Matthieu Pavon (Pro V1), was another shot back in third.
With Wyndham Clark’s victory at Pebble Beach, Titleist golf ball players have now won each of the first five events to start the 2024 PGA TOUR season:
Over the last four weeks on the PGA TOUR, a total of 413 players have teed up a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball, more than five times the nearest competitor (76).
– “Honestly, one of the most important things in a player’s bag is the golf ball. If you don’t have control of that, then it doesn’t matter how you’re swinging, how the clubs are made, whatever. The golf ball is so important, and that’s ultimately what goes into the hole. Having faith and trusting your golf ball is huge.”
– “I play [Pro V1x] because it’s kind of the perfect combination for me of launch and spin. … I'm a low spin player, I have a lot of speed, but I don't spin the ball very much. And the Pro V1x, especially with my irons and driver, spins at the numbers that I want. Also, I think it's great around the greens. So I’ve always been looking for spin. And this Pro V1x gives me exactly what I need.”
– “The spin means the most to me, because I’m a low spin player, so I need the spin to help keep the ball in the air, to be able to control it better around the greens. And that's the most important thing for me. And especially out on Tour, you need to be able to have the ball to stop very quick, and that's what this ball does.”
– “What’s unique in our game is you can get the ball and your equipment dialed into the exact thing that you need. And with Titleist having different [models], I was able to find one that with my irons, spun perfectly, and with my driver, spun perfectly. And around the greens, I was able to stop it quick and do everything I wanted with it.”
NOW WORLD NO. 6, CLARK CONTINUES RISE AFTER SWITCH TO TITLEIST EQUIPMENT; MOVES TO TSR3 DRIVER AT PEBBLE BEACH
Clark made his first PGA TOUR start of 2022 (The American Express) with a brand new bag of Titleist equipment, having played competitive clubs through his last event of ‘21 (RSM Classic). Over that offseason, Clark visited the Titleist Performance Institute to get dialed in to his new setup.
In January of ‘22, when he teed off in the first round of the AmEx, Clark was ranked 249th in the Official World Ranking. Forty-six starts later, following his U.S. Open victory at The Los Angeles Country Club, Clark had climbed to No. 13. He was 10th when he teed it up Thursday at Pebble. On Sunday night, he moved to No. 6, his highest position ever.
One of the more impactful changes has been his driver. Playing a competitive model, Clark ended the 2020-21 season at 117th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, finishing with a negative strokes gained total (-.015). After making the switch to Titleist TSi3, he finished the following season 61 spots higher and gaining strokes off the tee (+.209).
“I use this driver because it’s so consistent. My misses are incredible and that’s big for me...,” he said. “When you miss with the Titleist it stays within the parameters that I need to play good golf. And that’s ultimately why I use Titleist clubs, especially this driver.”
This week at Pebble Beach, Clark made the move to a new TSR3 driver model. Clark had experienced immediate speed gains with TSR during his initial testing sessions last year, but was hesitant to make any changes following his breakout summer. On Tuesday at Pebble, Clark worked with J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director of Player Promotions, to dial in his TSR3.
According to Van Wezenbeeck, Clark’s swing has evolved in recent years to become much more neutral, allowing for a more neutral setup in his driver. The result – TSR3 9.0, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 60 6.5 shaft, D1 SureFit setting (-.75* loft, standard lie), +4g SureFit CG weight (12g) in H1 – delivered a better spin-to-launch ratio with faster ball speeds. Over the two rounds at Pebble Beach, he ranked 11th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (+1.511).
Titleist continues to be the most played driver on the PGA TOUR for five seasons and counting. This week, 30 players (39%) chose a Titleist driver compared to 17 (21%) for the nearest competitor.
Wyndham Clark gamed four NEW Vokey SM10 wedges (46.10F, 52.08F, 56.10S, WedgeWorks 60A (@ 59)) en route to earning his third PGA TOUR title in the last nine months.
First debuting at The Sentry to start the year and officially launching on TOUR at the American Express, NEW Vokey SM10 wedges continue to be the top choice of the world’s best. This week at Pebble Beach, there was a total of 72 SM10 gap, sand and lob wedges (31%) in play, more than double the nearest competitor’s total number of wedges (35).
At The Sentry, Clark was one of 20 players to start his 2024 PGA TOUR season by making the immediate move to NEW Vokey Design SM10 wedges, putting three in play (46.10F, 52.08F, 56.10S). He added his SM10 WedgeWorks 60A (@ 59) lob wedge in his next start at the American Express.
Clark first tested SM10 alongside Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill in December before making the switch from his set of SM9’s.
“With Vokey, what's so great is they use the tour staff, I feel like as their R&D department,” said Clark on working with the Vokey team. “And so when we hit shots, I mean we hit more than anybody and we know exactly how a ball should come off, how a wedge should react, et cetera. And so what's nice is Vokey listens to that and says, ‘Okay, okay, we need to adjust this’ or ‘We need to add this, we need to decrease this’... So that's been so great with Vokey is just the ability to want to get better and improve even on a product, which I already think is the best, and if they're always improving, that's pretty amazing.”
In his two rounds this week at Pebble Beach, Clark gained 1.359 shots around the greens on the field (14th).
Clark also gamed four Vokey wedges (SM9 46.10F, 52.12F, 56.10S, WedgeWorks 60A) on his way to earning his first career major championship at the U.S. Open at the Los Angeles Country Club last June. Clark made several key up-and-downs coming down the stretch on Sunday to finish off a one-shot victory and etch his name into the history books. Clark gained nearly four shots (3.92/7th) on the field around LACC, while ranking first in proximity to the hole on shots around the green (5’9’’), more than 4 feet better than the field average (9'11").
“The most important club for me, probably in my bag, is this A grind,” said Clark in 2022, after making the move to Titleist clubs. “I use the SM9 60 degree A grind, which is a low bounce 60, which I think is very versatile. And I'm able to – on tight lies, rough, wet lies, firm lies, whatever it is – I can hit the shot I want. And with the amount of spin I want, trajectory and everything.”
Said Vokey Rep Aaron Dill on Clark’s lob wedge: “The 60A was a co-design project with Geoff Ogilvy. That's how it started. It was based off of Australian Sand Belt golf courses – firm and tight. It's essentially an L grind with a ribbon removed, a smooth, fast moving wedge. It's a really low bounce, close sitting wedge, built for firm and fast conditions.
“One of the things that he really values is trajectory management, meaning he wants to launch it low. He’ll play it three-quarter shots, he’ll play it half shots, but mainly it’s kind of his greenside short game club that he’ll use a lot and it’s just become a good friend for him because he feels like he can slide into the ball easily when things are cut tight on conditions.”
Clark has stuck with the A grind through his move to SM10, playing the WedgeWorks 60A at 59 degrees of loft.
In addition to his four Vokey wedges, Clark has played a full set of 620 CB irons since his move to Titleist clubs. In his last season playing competitive iron and wedge models (2020-21). Clark ranked 188th on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach (-0.640). He finished last season 29th (+0.436).
Titleist Brand Ambassador Ludvig Åberg shot rounds of 68-65-67 to post 16 under and finish solo 2nd. Between his opening round at Spyglass Hill and his second and third rounds at Pebble Beach, Åberg made 14 birdies and two eagles while only dropping two shots.
Dating back to the World Wide Technology Championship in November, Åberg has finished inside the top-10 in four of his last six PGA TOUR starts, including his victory at the RSM Classic to close out last season.
In his 15 events as a PGA TOUR member, he’s made 14 cuts while earning one victory, six top-10 finishes and 10 top-25's.
Brett Coletta (Pro V1) carded a 7-under-par 65 final round to secure a two-shot victory on the Beach Course at 13th Beach Golf Links. Coletta shot 18 under for the week to hoist his third PGA Tour Australasia trophy.
This week’s PGA Tour Australasia champion used three Vokey SM9 wedges (50.12F, 54.10S, 60.08M or WedgeWorks 60T) en route to a comeback win at the Victorian Open.
Rhys Enoch (Pro V1x) earned his third career Sunshine Tour victory, carding four consecutive rounds of 66 around Zebula Golf Estate. Enoch’s 24 under total was good for a two-shot win.
WITB | SDC Open Champion: Titleist Pro V1x golf ball; TSR3 11.0 driver; TSi3 16.5, TSR2 21.0 fairways; 620 CB 4 iron, 620 MB 5-9 irons; Vokey Design SM9 46.10F, 50.08F, 54.10S, 60.04L or 60.10S wedges; Scotty Cameron GoLo 5 Dual Balance putter