Just one week remains until the golf world turns its attention to Augusta for the first major of the season. For many players, this year's Shell Houston Open is a final chance to earn a dream invitation to this year's Masters Tournament. For others, it's an an opportunity to fine tune their games under tournament pressure as they prepare their bids for a major title.
The opening round at Golf Club of Houston was a soggy affair, leading to some low scores on Thursday and ideal scoring conditions on Firday. One player who took advantage on both days is the current tournament leader, Titleist golf ball loyalist Sung Kang (Pro V1x). Kang followed up an opening 65 with a course record-tying, 9-under-par 63.
He now sits at 16-under-par, six shots clear of his closest pursuers at the time of this writing. In describing his round Kang said that actually could have been more aggressive.
"We could have actually hit at more flags," said Kang. "I just kept grinding, keep playing well, not really thinking about the result. Just doing what I can do."
Kang is leading a host of Pro V1 and Pro V1x players who are jockeying for position at the top of the current leaderboard. And once again at the Shell Houston Open, Titleist is the overwhelming golf ball choice with 106 players trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That’s more than seven times the nearest competitor with 14 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist is also the top choice of players in the hybrids (27) and irons (50) categories. Vokey Design Wedges topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (191) category. Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice in the putter (63) category.
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- The par 72, 7,441 yard Golf Club of Houston has played host to the Shell Houston open since 2006. There are only two years that it did not precede the Masters Tournament (2013 and 2006).
- The current course record of 63 that Sung Kang equaled on Friday is now shared by six players including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Scott Piercy, Jimmy Walker, Adam Scott and Pro V1 loyalist Johnson Wagner. At this year's event, Kang recorded seven birdies and an eagle in his 9-under-par second round.
- This year's field is led by defending champion and Titleist golf ball loyalist Jim Herman (Pro V1). He's joined by past champions including Titleist Brand Ambassadors Matt Jones (2014) and Adam Scott (2007) as well as Titleist golf ball loyalists D.A. Points (2013), Hunter Mahan (2012) and Johnson Wagner (2008).
- The PGA Tour sets the course to emulate the conditions players will face at next week's first major, including mowing patterns, green speeds (12 on stimpmeter), chipping areas and minimal rough.
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Welcome to the 2017 Shell Houston Open, courtesy of shutterbug and Titleist Brand Ambassador Bernd Wiesberger.
Titleist Brand Ambassador Zac Blair (currently T5) appreciates the new look for Scotty Cameron is sporting on the Golf Club of Houston practice green.
Scotty chimes in himself:
Titleist Brand Ambassador Bud Cauley has the right stuff.
Good luck to all of #TeamTitleist this week in Houston!