Charles Howell III ended an 11-year victory drought after nailing a 15 foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win the RSM Classic. And while the victory represents a huge accomplishment by itself, particularly because Howell will take the FedExCup lead into the New Year, it’s even more interesting in light of the fact that Howell showed up with a new golf ball and 13 new clubs.
While Howell has been playing PXG equipment for the past few years, he showed up to the RSM Classic with, excluding his flat stick, an entirely brand new bag of equipment, courtesy of Titleist. Specifically, Howell put into play the new TS3 Driver, TS2 Fairway Woods in 15° and 21°, a 718 T-MB 4 iron, 718 AP2s (5 through 7), 718 CBs (8 through PW), and Vokey Design SM7s in 52°, 56°, and 60°.
And to put the cherry on top, Howell also put into play the new Titleist Pro V1, making him the first player on the Tour to win with the new Pro V1.
While lots of Titleist staffers have been raving about the new TS (Titleist Speed) Drivers and Fairways, including Justin Thomas who believes “TS” actually stands for “the shit”, it says a lot that a non-Titleist staffer was victorious after putting in play an entirely new setup. In fact, Howell hit all 14 fairways and all 18 greens playing the new Pro V1 and Titleist equipment in his first round at the RSM Classic. And Howell’s stats for the weekend are equally impressive, as he finished 8th in Driving Distance (296.5), T12th in Driving Accuracy (84%), and 1st in Greens in Regulation (89%).
While no official deal has been announced, 2018 has certainly been the year for free agents on the Tour. Indeed, all 4 majors were won by golfers—Francesco Molinari, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed—who weren’t under equipment contracts and, instead, put in their bags the equipment that they believed gave them the best chance to succeed.
And while it remains to be seen how successful Justin Rose will fair in his first outing with Honma equipment in the bag, Charles Howell III’s victory at Sea Island’s Seaside course certainly is a testament to Titleist’s clubs and new Pro V1.
Cover Image Via Instagram
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