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The FJ Blog features news from the tour, product launches and insights, tips, corporate announcements and more.
 

    Bill Haas Pulls Away at Congressional

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    Being no stranger to the big stage, 2011 Fedex Cup Champion Bill Haas found victory at the always-daunting Congressional Country Club.

    Beginning the day in a four way tie for first place, Haas knew he could not just back into the title.  Haas made an early birdie at the second before giving a stroke back to par at the 5th.

    Even par for the day heading into the 8th, Haas rolled in a 12 foot birdie to reach 8 under for the tourney.  On the following hole, Haas hit another brilliant approach setting up another birdie. Then on the treacherous par 3 tenth, Haas rolled in his third consecutive birdie to take a two shot lead over fellow FJ Staffer Roberto Castro.

    Castro stuck with Haas over the back nine but could not chip away at his lead.  Haas led by at least two over the entire back nine and calmly rolled in a three foot putt for par at the last to take home the title. 

    "I just kept the ball in front of me,'' Haas said. "Nothing too crazy.'' Always humble, Haas adds a fifth PGA Tour win to his record and moves to 7th in the 2013 Fedex Cup race.

    Haas relied on the lightweight stability of his FJ Sport golf shoes throughout the week. 

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    Ken Duke Secures First PGA Tour Win at The Travelers

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    Journeyman, Ken Duke wrapped up a playoff victory at the Travelers Championship for his first PGA Tour win in 187 starts. 

    Winning on the PGA Tour sometimes requires a little luck, Duke's approach into the tenth hole ricocheted of off a greenside tree to within five feet of the pin.  Duke converted the birdie and proceeded to birdie three more holes on the back nine, en route to a final round 66.  His four round total of 12 under par placed him into a playoff.  The playoff was short lived as Duke birdied the second hole of sudden death to secure the win.

    "You gotta believe in yourself in everything you do," Duke said. "That's why those guys at the top are winning week in, week out because they believe they can do it. It's kind of one of those things once you finally do it it might come easier the next time. That's kind of the way I feel."

    Ken Duke opted for the lightweight performance and stability of the FJ Sport during his winning performance.  

    The Travelers Championship Shoe Count

    FJ - 60%

    Nearest Competitor - 17%

    Thornton Earns First European Tour Victory

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    An emotional Simon Thornton dedicated his maiden European Tour victory to his late father after the Irishman held his nerve to claim the Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open title in a play-off and fittingly on Father’s Day.

    Thornton (FJ Sport & StaSof) holed several tricky putts on the back nine but left his best till last on the final hole, as he drained a ten-foot putt to take it to extra holes.

    Under the most intense of pressure, the 36 year old rolled it into the cup and clenched his fist in celebration as he signed for a one under par 70.

    He kept his cool once again in the play-off, finding the fringe of the green, The Irishman then rolled a perfectly-weighted putt from 30 feet which slid just left of the hole, ensuring his par and most importantly the win.

    “It’s so big for me,” said a tearful Thornton. “On father’s day too, he passed away three years ago and it still hurts, but they are happy tears today. This is dedicated to him.”

    “I didn’t play particularly well today in perfect conditions but I got up and down when I had to and holed good putts.”

    “I didn’t put myself in position very well so I was scrambling but my short game held up. I've been working hard on my short game for a couple of years now so I'm delighted. I changed my putter and my putting technique last week too so it all came together this week.”

    “On the last putt – I had been saying to myself all day, if I'm going to make it easy for myself you need to try on every putt and make sure it goes where you want to hit it – so I just picked a line and willed it in and it dropped.”

    Thornton’s rise is an incredible story of progression to the top of European golf against all odds, as he was a seven handicap golfer just over a decade ago.

    Born in Bradford, England, he moved to Ireland to become an Assistant Professional at Royal County Down Golf Club before rising through the Irish professional ranks to the Challenge Tour and then The European Tour.

    “Hopefully this is a stepping stone for me,” he said. “I’ll go home this week now and celebrate, take a week off, and then play in the Irish Open.

    “Last year was a huge disappointment on The European Tour after getting there through the Challenge Tour.

    “To come here and play like I did is incredible. What happens now with this category is fantastic; it’s mad how things have changed. It’s surreal.”

    Ilonen Cruises in Sweden

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    Mikko Ilonen cruised to a three shot victory at the Nordea Masters, winning his first European Tour title for six years at Bro Hof Slott.

    The 33 year old, whose two previous victories came in 2007, the latter in this event, started the day two clear and an imposing display meant the gap was not closed, despite a hugely impressive 12 under weekend total from FJ Apparel Ambassador Bernd Wiesberger (FJ Sport & StaSof)

    After turning in 34, Ilonen (FJ ICON & StaSof) then birdied the 11th from 12 feet, before his only set-back with a three-putt bogey at the long 12th. A sublime chip to three feet at the next quickly atoned for that error, and there were no dramas over the closing stretch.

    A three under par 69 ensured a 21 under total and three shot victory margin for the Finn.

    “It’s pretty special. I could feel a lot of support from Finland, especially today," said Ilonen,

    Asked about his bogey at the 12th, he added: “I just got ahead of myself with the first putt. I’ve said for weeks now it doesn’t really bother me if I make a bogey because I know I can make it up and it was the first time I went for the 13th in two.”

    Ilonen had been a runner-up in Morocco before finishing second to Brett Rumford in China already this season, and was pleased with the way he dealt with those disappointments.

    “To bounce back this soon is really good,” he continued. “It’s really satisfying, but the show I saw in China - I didn’t lose the tournament, Brett won it, so hats off to him."

    “Obviously I’ve been waiting for this moment for a few weeks now. People have been expecting me to win but most of all I’ve been expecting myself to win, so to pull it off here after those second places is very satisfying."

    Shoe Count:
    FJ - 63%
    Nearest Comp - 20%

    Glove Count:
    FJ - 48%
    Nearest Comp - 19%

    Uihlein Breaks Through in Portugal

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     Former Oklahoma State standout and US Amateur Champion, Peter Uihlein shot a final round of 68 to capture his first professional career victory at the Madeira Islands Open in Santo Da Serra, Portugal. Beginning the day one stroke behind leader Mark Tullo, Ulhlein opened with a bogey falling further behind.  However, Uihlein fought back to even par for the front nine and continued to make four birdies in his final eight holes to reach 15 under par.  The total gave him a two stroke victory over fellow FJ Staffers, Morten Orum Madsen and Mark Tullo.

    Uihlein was ready for any conditions the seaside golf course could conjure in full line FJ Performance Apparel, DryJoys Tour golf shoes and the StaSof golf glove.

    Uihlein stated post round, "To do it playing well on the back nine coming down the stretch is sweet. ... I just knuckled down, I guess. It was all putting that did it today; I was just trying to free up and they started to roll in, so it was nice."

    Peter also spoke of his decision to join the European Tour instead of testing his game on the American circuit, "You grow up quick out here and that was the main reason I came over...It's been a good process so far and hopefully I can keep going."

    This is Peter's third top ten in seven European Tour starts this season. The win also gives Uihlein European Tour Status through the 2014 season.

    Madeira Islands Open SHOE COUNT:
    FJ - 66%
    Nearest Comp - 18%