Nico Echavarria, Jin Young Ko Earn Wins With New 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x at the Puerto Rico Open and HSBC Women’s World Championship
By Zack R., Team Titleist Staff On 6 March 2023
PGA TOUR | Puerto Rico Open
Teeing up the NEW Pro V1x golf ball, Nico Echavarria earned his first career PGA TOUR victory in Puerto Rico, playing his final four holes in 2 under to post 21 under and win by two shots.
- Echavarria, a rookie this season after graduating from the Korn Ferry Tour in 2022, was one of only two players to post all four rounds in the 60’s (67-67-65-68).
- He finished the week T2 in Greens in Regulation (78%) while making 23 birdies and two eagles over the four rounds at the Grand Reserve Golf Club.
- Eleven of the top 14 finishers on the final leader board teed up a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball.
LPGA TOUR | HSBC Women’s World Championship
In just her second start playing the NEW Pro V1 golf ball, Jin Young Ko claimed her 14th career LPGA Tour title, closing in 3-under 69 to reach 17 under and win by two shots.
- In control of her golf ball all week long, the World No. 5 hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation on Sunday – and 89% GIR for the week – in successfully defending her title in Singapore.
NEW PRO V1 AND PRO V1X GO BACK-TO-BACK ON LPGA
- Jin Young Ko's victory with NEW Pro V1 marked the second consecutive win for 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x players on the LPGA Tour, following Lilia Vu's victory last week in Thailand with NEW Pro V1x.
- Two weeks ago, World No. 1 Lydia Ko was victorious on the Ladies European Tour in her first start with 2023 Pro V1x, making it three victories in three weeks for the new models at the top level of women’s golf.
- Lydia Ko first teed up the NEW Pro V1x after extensive testing with Jeff Beyers of Titleist Golf Ball R&D.
- According to Beyers, Ko began testing NEW Pro V1x during the practice days leading up to her win in November at the CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA’s 2022 season finale.
- Working with Beyers on the range at Tiburón Golf Club, Ko quickly became intrigued by the more penetrating flight and faster ball speeds she was registering with 3-wood and driver.
- While Ko wasn’t going to make a change with only four rounds left in the season, she asked Beyers for some 2023 Pro V1x to test at home during the offseason.
- During the break, Ko also made a visit to the Titleist Performance Institute to make sure she was dialed in for the start of the new year.
- “I believe in the team at Titleist,” Ko said. “They said [’23 X] was going to be a little less spin in the longer clubs but still maintain the spin for the short game and stuff around the greens.
- And at first, it’s quite hard to believe that because it’s the best of both worlds having that control around the greens and then you’re able to create a little bit more ball speed and hit it further for the driver especially.”
- “But when I did do the testing, especially out at TPI with J.J. [Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director of Player Promotions] and Jeff, what they said was correct.”
- “I was looking for a little less spin, especially from my woods and driver,” she said. “A couple hundred RPM was exactly what I needed. And the feel of the ball was very similar. I did enough testing, and I felt like it was good. I trusted the team and I trusted the number. And I was able to win my first event with that so definitely a good start. I’ve enjoyed playing it the last couple weeks.”
- Lilia Vu spent time testing both 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x models at home.
- She claimed her maiden LPGA Tour title last week in Thailand playing NEW Pro V1x.
- “I had Ann [Cain, Titleist’s Leadership Promotions Manager] send me both the 2023 [Pro V1x] and the [Pro V1] to my house, and we did some practice with it,” Vu said. “Instantly knew that the new Pro V1x was going to be it. It helped bring down the spin and it was just perfect for my game… The biggest thing for me is I really wanted the same feel (as the prior generation). It just happened to be that way, so it worked out really well.”
PGA TOUR | Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Playing a Vokey Design SM9 lob wedge, the winner at Bay Hill led a 1-through-9 sweep at the top of the leader board for Vokey wedge players.
- The champ, who gamed a WedgeWorks Low Bounce K (60.06K) model, was a perfect 6-for-6 for the week in sand saves and T7 for the week in Scrambling (71%).
- The SM9 K grind is among the most popular of all the available Vokey grinds, especially with amateur golfers who favor its wide, cambered sole, providing maximum forgiveness on greenside shots and out of the bunker.
- Like all Vokey Design wedges, the Low Bounce K grind was born out of Master Craftsman Bob Vokey and Vokey tour rep Aaron Dill’s collaboration with the best players in the world.
- This week, the Low Bounce K was also in the bag of the 3rd-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, who finished T2.
- “The K grind lives in the bags of some of the world’s best,” Dill said. “It has always been known as the ultimate bunker club, inspiring confidence in player’s short games. However, when you ask players on tour why they play the K grind, they will tell you not only do they love the performance in the bunkers, but they love the way the leading edge hugs the ground when pitching and chipping.”
- Like many players on the PGA TOUR, the Bay Hill champ travels with two lob wedges. Each week, he decides between his 60.06K and WedgeWorks 60T. “When conditions soften or become grainy, he typically goes with the K,” Dill said.
- Over half (183/53%) of the gap, sand and lob wedges in play at Bay Hill were Vokey Design, more than four times the nearest competitor (42/12%).
- Every player in the final Top 9 – including the 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-ranked players in the World Ranking – had at least one Vokey wedge in the bag:
- 1. 2023 API Champion | OWGR No. 19
SM9 WedgeWorks 60.06K
- T2. OWGR No. 3
SM9 54.10S @ 55, WedgeWorks 58.06K @ 59
- T2. OWGR No. 37
SM9 WedgeWorks 60T
- T4. Jordan Spieth
SM9 46.10F, 52.08F, 56.10S, WedgeWorks 60T
- T4. OWGR No. 2
SM8 50.12F, 56.14F, SM9 WedgeWorks 60T
- T4. OWGR No. 24
Vokey Design SM9 WedgeWorks 60T
- T4. OWGR No. 4
SM7 46.10F, 52.08F, SM9 56.08M @57, 60T wedges
- T8. Davis Riley
SM9 46.10F, 50.08F, 56.08M, 60M AD +
- T8. OWGR No. 77
SM9 WedgeWorks 60T
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS | Cologuard Classic
David Toms, playing the NEW Pro V1x golf ball, claimed his third career PGA TOUR Champions victory with a final round 4-under 68 while leading a 1-through-5 finish for Titleist golf ball players.
- Toms was the only player to shoot all three rounds in the 60’s (68-65-68), his final total of 15 under giving him the one-shot victory.
- He ranked T3 for the week in Greens in Regulation (83%) and made 20 birdies over the three rounds.
FOUR STRAIGHT FOR NEW PRO V1 & PRO V1X ON CHAMPIONS TOUR
- With Toms' victory playing NEW Pro V1x, 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x models continue their undefeated streak on the PGA Tour Champions this year, having been played by each of the first four winners of the 2023 season: