PGA TOUR | Sentry Tournament of Champions
Titleist Brand Ambassador Cameron Smith – playing a Pro V1x golf ball, TSi3 driver, NEW T100 irons, four NEW Vokey Design SM9 wedges and Scotty Cameron 009M tour prototype putter among his Titleist setup – recorded the lowest 72-hole score in relation to par (34 under) in PGA TOUR history to win the 2022 opener on Maui.
- Smith birdied Kapalua’s 18th hole Sunday to win by one shot and earn his fourth PGA TOUR victory (and second individual TOUR title).
- It was Smith’s 31st birdie of the week to go along with three eagles, as he shot 64 or 65 in all four rounds (65-64-64-65).
- At week’s end, Smith led the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (+3.996) and SG: Putting (+6.464), becoming only the second PGA TOUR winner in the last 10 years to top both categories.
- Smith, who also won the 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii, is now one of only six players to have won both events on the Hawaii Swing.
- Titleist Brand Ambassador Matt Jones, who finished two shots back in third place, played the weekend in 23 under, recording the lowest 36-hole score to par in consecutive rounds in TOUR history.
- On Sunday, Jones tied the tournament’s 18-hole scoring record with 61, initially set a day earlier by fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas.
- Of the top nine finishers at Kapalua, seven played a Titleist golf ball.
- And of the players who finished T5 or better, three played a TSi driver: Smith, Matt Jones (TSi2 9.0°) and Justin Thomas (TSi3 10.5°).
SMITH IS FIRST WINNER WITH NEW VOKEY SM9 WEDGES
- Cameron Smith earned the first victory for the NEW Vokey Design SM9 wedges as the new models debuted this week on the PGA TOUR, with players immediately putting more SM9’s in play than any other wedge.
- Smith didn’t get his hands on his new SM9’s until Monday morning, when he found them sitting in his locker at Kapalua, a delivery from Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill.
- Smith carried both his SM8's and SM9’s during the practice rounds, but stepped to the tee Thursday morning with four new SM9’s in the bag – 46.10F, 52.08F, 56.08M and 60.10S.
- Smith finished the week third in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (+8.404) and hit 86 percent greens in regulation (62 of 72) with an average proximity to the hole from 50-125 yards of 12 feet, 11 inches. (He averaged 16 feet, 2 inches from that range last season.)
- “Cam is super talented with his wedges and has just has this natural ability of being shallow when he needs to be shallow, to flatten out things and make good, clean contact,” Dill said. “When you look at his new SM9’s, starting with his 46 and 52, those are essentially just distance clubs off the iron set. With the 56, he uses an M grind and he’s really good with it. He uses it all around the greens. He especially uses it a lot in Hawaii because of grain. That grainy Bermuda is some of the most treacherous chipping conditions I think we see throughout the season and he just understands the value of how to use a wedge in the right way, especially the sand wedge. He also brings two lob wedges with him every single week – a 60.10S and a 60 T Grind – and switches back and forth based on the turf conditions. He knows that playing golf courses like this, like Sony, like Fort Worth, Colonial, those kinds of golf courses – they’re going to be really grainy and hard to chip on, which is why he relied on more bounce in that loft.”
WHAT’S IN CAMERON SMITH’S BAG?
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: TSi3 10.0° | Fujikura Ventus Blue 60 X
Fairway Metals: TSi2 15.0° | Fujikura Ventus Blue 80 X and TS2 21.0° | UST Mamiya Elements Red 8F5 X
Irons: NEW T100 5-9 | KBS Tour 130 Custom Matte Black X
Wedges: NEW Vokey Design SM9 46.10F, 52.08F, 56.08M, 60.10S | KBS Tour 130 Custom Matte Black X
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M tour prototype
SMITH CONTINUES RECORD-SETTING RUN WITH 2021 PRO V1x and TSi3 DRIVER
- Cameron Smith continues to add his name to the history books with the trusted combination of his Pro V1x golf ball and TSi3 driver.
- Prior to Smith setting the PGA TOUR’s 72-hole record at 34 under par this week in Maui, he became the first player in the history of the Masters to shoot all four rounds in the 60’s (during the 2020 tournament held last November).
SMITH ON HIS PRO V1x
- “I think the biggest thing for me with the [2021 Pro V1x] is the cover and the stickiness it gives me around the greens. I feel as though I can hit a lot of different scoring shots into and around the green... For me, when I tested it, it was a bit hotter off the driver, which was great. The windows were great. The spin was still the same. The irons were basically the same which I love. But for me, the biggest thing that stuck out was the control coming out of the rough and around the greens. So like inside 40-50 yards, just the stickiness of it. I feel as though I can control my shots, especially those difficult, soft shots, just so much better with that new cover they got on there.”
- “I’ll always put it straight in,” Smith said regarding new generation Titleist golf balls. “I trust what they’re doing with it. After a couple of tournaments I’m always comfortable in knowing what it will do. I’ve been playing the Pro V1x since I was about 15 years old and never changed. I love how it spins around the greens.”
SMITH ON HIS TSi3 DRIVER
- Smith’s field-topping driving performance at Kapalua – where he finished first in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (+3.996) – concluded with 14 of 15 fairways hit (93.3%) and an average driving distance of 320.5 in Sunday’s final round.
- Smith plays a Titleist TSi3 driver model, which last season was the most played driver on both the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour.
- “Cameron was one of the first adopters of the TSi driver,” said J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director of Player Promotions. “When we launched, we went and worked with him down at TPC Sawgrass. He had been playing a TS2 because he normally needs a little bit of launch and we were able to add a little loft to a TSi3, which was his preferred shape. He saw an increase in ball speed and better launch-to-spin characteristics. And then throughout the last year, we were able to evaluate some settings and driver shaft changes that were matching some of the swing changes he was making and the extra speed he was getting with that, to keep the control that he was looking for.”
NEW VOKEY SM9 IS MOST PLAYED WEDGE IN FIRST WEEK ON TOUR
The NEW Vokey Design SM9 wedges made their debut this week on the PGA TOUR, with more players putting SM9 models in play at Kapalua than any other wedge:
- SM9 was the most played model with a total of 35 pitching, gap, sand and lob wedges in play, 15 more than the nearest competitive model (20).
- There were 31 new SM9 gap, sand and lob wedges in players’ bags, more than the nearest competitor’s total gap, sand and lob wedge models combined (29).
- Fourteen players – including winner Cameron Smith, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay and Max Homa – made the immediate switch to SM9 models. Smith, Spieth, Thomas and Homa all switched to four new models (including pitching wedges).
- Three of the top four finishers – Smith, Matt Jones (3rd) and Cantlay – had NEW SM9 wedges in their bags.
- Jones, playing a NEW SM9 58.08M (@ 60) led the field in scrambling percentage this week at 91% (10 of 11), and was second in Strokes Gained: Around the Green (+2.925).
SM9’S IN PLAY AT SENTRY (including PW):
Cameron Smith: 46.10F, 52.08F, 56.08M, 60.10S
Jordan Spieth: 46.10F, 52-08, 56.10S, WedgeWorks 60T
Justin Thomas: 46.10F, 52.12F, 56.14F, WedgeWorks 60T
Max Homa: 46.10F, 50.12F, 56.14F, 60.04L
Patrick Cantlay: 56.08M (@ 57)
Garrick Higgo: 50.12F, 56-14, WedgeWorks 60.06K
Cam Davis: 52.12F, 56.14F, WedgeWorks 60V
Matt Jones: 58.08M (@ 60)
2021 Northern Trust winner: WedgeWorks 60T
2021 Houston Open winner: 56.14F, 60.08M
2021 Byron Nelson winner: 60.08M
2014 FedEx Cup Champion: 52.12F, 56.10S, WedgeWorks 60V (@ 62)
2009 Open Champion: 52.12F, 60.12D
2009 U.S. Open Champion: 52.12F, 56.10S
JORDAN SPIETH ON NEW SM9 WEDGES
“I like to really hit my wedges with lower trajectory. I feel like that I can control my distances a lot better when I do that, so the idea that when I’m hitting three-quarter shots with those clubs on those kind of not full yardages, maybe if you have to flight one in the wind or off an upslope, they seem to be really, really consistently coming off with that nice low ball flight. So it was a pretty easy decision for me.”
“I took them to the range with a launch machine to check out spin rate and stuff on more of the full shots. I had the SM8’s and the SM9’s in for maybe two or three days before I was comfortable just saying, ‘Yeah, these are better.’
“All the good stuff stayed the same and then I felt like I could get even a little more dialed in on some of those three quarter approach shots that a lot of times we have to have into some tuck pins out here. Without jeopardizing any of the full shots or any of the workability that I’ve always liked with my wedges.”
JUSTIN THOMAS ON SM9
“When I was testing SM9, it was nice to see the low controlled flight. For me, for someone who likes to flight my wedges and control my spin a lot, I need to be able to see that ball hit the windows. And I’m looking both low and high, but especially low. Because for me, it’s nice to be able to feel like I hit it and I don't look up and it’s coming high and floaty. It’s hitting the flight that I want, the spin that I want and reacting how I want.”
PATRICK CANTLAY ON SM9
“You’re always looking for a little edge on controlling distance and I was able to control the flight and distance really well with the SM9. And so it went straight in the bag. When you’re testing a new wedge you want to see that it’s interacting with the turf the right way and is able to perform no matter what kind of shot you’re hitting. And I feel very comfortable that this wedge does that.”
MAX HOMA ON SM9
“I put [the SM9’s] right in just because honestly I trust Voke and I trust (Aaron) Dill a lot. But I got here and could tell right away it was just something that was going to be a little bit easier to flight in the breeze, which is always good. The extra control is just taking out a variable. If the ball’s flying into the wind, and sometimes it puffs up there and sometimes it doesn’t, that’s just another guess you have to make. So with [SM9], knowing what it’s going to do, it just brings a lot of comfort. Especially if you got one for quite a bit of FedExCup points, you want to know what’s going to happen and not just guess it.”