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[by Guy Smith, Acushnet Company European Tour Rep]
With the Race To Dubai really heating up, the two highest placed FootJoy shoe wearers, Rory McIlroy and Ross Fisher, positions 3 & 4 respectively, are sitting out the French Open this week in preparation for the Open Championship at Turnberry in two weeks time. This will open the door to the other 10 FootJoy shoe wearers currently in the Race To Dubai top 20 to catch up to them.
Last year's winner, Pablo Larrazabal is really looking forward to defending the title he won last year. It is turning into a very special week for the Larrazabal family, as Pablo's brother, Alex, has joined him in the French Open field after qualifying for the tournament last week. This is exactly what Pablo did last year before storming to an emphatic victory over the Golf National course to claim his first European Tour title and helped him to become the Sir Henry Cotton, Rookie of the Year. Can lightning strike twice!?
Another player who loves this tournament is FootJoy wearer Soren Hansen, he finished in third place last year. He was in fine form this week and looking to improve on last years finish.
The big story of the week has been the launch of the FJ ICON shoes to the European Tour. Players came to visit the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle to collect their new shoes, and only positive responses were heard. The majority of comments included how light the shoes felt and how comfortable they were. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these on the players this week and the next few weeks. More styles will be released to the players at The Open Championship.
One player already wearing the FJ ICON shoe is Ian Poulter. It was good to see him again in Europe after a long spell across the Pond on the USPGA Tour. Ian will certainly fancy his chances this week as he has been showing some great form and can't be too far away from a win. He is joined in the field by Angel Cabrera, who will be looking to add to his Masters crown earlier in the season and SYNR-G and FootJoy PureTouch wearer, Padraig Harrington.
Check out the action from Tuesday at the Open Championship where we saw several players wearing their new FJ ICONS!
We've got more photos from our FJ folks onsite at Turnberry! Pretty busy few days for everyone at the Open Championship, especially the players as they make final preparations for tomorrow's opening round. One of my favorite sayings is that you can't win a major on Thursday, but you can certainly lose one! Can't wait to see how this event unfolds, starting tomorrow morning.
Michael Sim collected his third win of the season Sunday at the Nationwide Tour's Christmas in October Classic, earning him an immediate promotion to the PGA TOUR and recognition as the first professional to win in the new FJ ICON golf shoes. The 24-year-old Sim, wearing FJ ICON style #52005, ended the week at 20-under 264, posting a rhythmic 65-67-65-67 pattern that included only two bogeys, one each on Thursday and Friday. The victory gives Sim an instant promotion to the PGA TOUR this year and will make him fully exempt on Tour next year, just the ninth player in Tour history to earn the promotion.Sim, the former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, also broke Troy Matteson's single-season earnings record of $495,009 set in 2005. He has eclipsed the record in just 12 starts and is averaging a whopping $43,923 for every week he tees it up."It's very relieving," said Sim, who collected his second win at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in mid-May. "I'd been in this position before and I wasn't able to get it done. I tried to stay in the moment as best I could. In Omaha I found it really difficult to stay focused on the last day. Fortunately I learned how to deal with those distractions. I did everything right today."To learn more about FJ ICON, click here to see the styles, click here to visit the new FJ ICON microsite and click here to read an interview with Jack Erickson, VP of Golf Footwear for FootJoy.
FootJoy was once again the #1 shoe and glove at the United States Amateur Championship, contested last week at Southern Hills Country Club. In fact, 45% of the field relied on the comfort and stability of Tour-tested FootJoy shoes like FJ ICON, SYNR-G and DryJoys, while 35% counted on FJ gloves like PureTouch Limited, StaSof and Sciflex to keep their grip secure as the temperature, and the pressure, escalated. Both participants in the grueling 36-hole final round wore FootJoy shoes and gloves and the champion became one of the first winners in FJ ICON. The youngest competitor to ever win the championship at age 17, he wore the black and white sport pattern, style #52070. The champion earns an exemption into next year's U.S. Open and British Open and, if tradition holds, he'll be invited to play in the Masters, too. Not bad for a kid who's still a senior in high school."I can't believe it. I just won," said the winner, who was missing the first week of school at Bradenton (Fla.) Preparatory Academy to play in the tournament. "I've said it before, but my goal was to make it to the first round and then somehow I made it this far. I think I got lucky."
We were on the range Tuesday at the PGA Tour's second playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship. We were not only checking in with our FootJoy players but also set up a large display to show them the full line of FJ ICON styles and all the options available through the MyJoys program. In short, the players were thrilled! Check out the pictures from Wednesday and we'll post video next week so you can hear what players such as David Toms, Charley Hoffman, John Merrick and Jason Bohn think of FootJoy's new flagship product and all the custom options!
Another stunning day at the TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts as the top 100 players in the world made final preparations for the Deutsche Bank Championship. Once again we were collecting feedback on the new FJ ICON line and working with the players to design some custom shoes through the MyJoys program. We shot some video wth the players talking about the custom process and options that we'll share in the next few weeks. In the meantime, click on the image below to see some highlights from Thursday.