You are viewing: May 2011
Donald Shines at Wentworth to Become #1!
FJ ambassador, Luke Donald (FJ ICON MyJoys), defeated fellow FJ shoe wearer Lee Westwood (DryJoys Tour & SciFlex glove), to claim the European Tour's Flagship event, The BMW PGA Championship. Donald's win dethrones Westwood as the World's #1 golfer, a situation he has been threatening over the last few months. The climax to the event couldn't have been scripted better, with both men being tied on -6 after 72nd hole. The two Englishmen headed back to the 18th tee to tussle for the title as well as the coverted World Number One spot. Both players decided to lay up with their second shot, leaving them with a 100 yeard shot out for the title. It was Donald who was to play first, hitting a crisp iron shot to the back of the green, spinning back to finish 8 foot from the flag. Westwood, knowing Donald was in prime position, hit his approach to the back of the gren only to see it spin back into the water leaving Doanld with a straight forward putt for victory. The 33 year old showed his class on the greens which he had demonstrated all week, by rolling in his birdie putt, claiming the first place cheque of £655,000 and more importantly the World #1 Spot.
Although Westwood was so close to achieving a third successive stroke play victory, nobody can say that his Celtic Manor Resort teammate does not deserve top spot. This was Donald's ninth successive top-ten finish, a run that began with his victory at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play in Arizona in February. Donald started the tournament in awesome fashion, shooting an opening round 64, the lowest round of the tournament. The fine opening round was experienced in a pair of white and red patent shield tip FJ ICON MyJoys, designed for him as part of the popular MyJoys May competition.
Speaking after his win Donald commented “It doesn't get much better. I'm not sure if there will ever be a case where Number One and Number Two in the world are playing off for the tournament, but also a chance for the Number One ranking in the world. A unique history I think has been made, and glad to be a part of it.”
It was once again another tournament where FJ topped not only the tournament leaderboard but also the shoe count leaderboard, with 60% of the field opting to lace up in the #1 Shoe in Golf.Link to this entry!!!!
Poulter Outlasts the Competition in Spain
Ian Poulter (FJ ICON MyJoys and SciFlex) defeated world number two Luke Donald (FJ ICON MyJoys) (2 & 1) to claim the Volvo World Match Play Championship. Poulter has a penchant for match play format, being a stalwart for the European Ryder Cup team along with a win in the Accenture World Match Play last year. Stating that, “I don't know what it is about match play. I just love it. I think I get more adrenaline, get more up for it.”
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Poulter would need that adrenaline to take down Luke Donald, who has a stellar match play resume, winning his last 14 consecutive matches that date back to the Ryder Cup in 2010.
Always a grinder, Poulter fell behind early but his grit and determination kept him in the match. On the short 12th hole Poulter made a 40+ footer for birdie to pull even. He would not look back making birdies on 14 and 16 to go two up with two holes to play. The match ended with Poulter holing a 7-foot putt for par on the 17th to win the match and tournament. The win moves the Englishman to 15th on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Acushnet Company to be Acquired by Group Led By FILA
Korea Ltd. and Mirae Asset Private Equity
ACUSHNET COMPANY TO BE ACQUIRED BY GROUP LED BY FILA KOREA LTD. AND MIRAE ASSET PRIVATE EQUITY Agreement Reached for World's Leading Golf Equipment Company to be Purchased from Fortune Brands Fairhaven, MA (May 20, 2011) – Acushnet Company announced today that its parent company, Fortune Brands, Inc., has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of the company to a group led by Fila Korea, Ltd., the owner of the Fila brand globally, and Mirae Asset Private Equity, the largest private equity firm in Korea.
ACUSHNET COMPANY TO BE ACQUIRED BY GROUP LED BY
FILA KOREA LTD. AND MIRAE ASSET PRIVATE EQUITY
Agreement Reached for World's Leading Golf Equipment Company
to be Purchased from Fortune Brands
Fairhaven, MA (May 20, 2011) – Acushnet Company announced today that its parent company, Fortune Brands, Inc., has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of the company to a group led by Fila Korea, Ltd., the owner of the Fila brand globally, and Mirae Asset Private Equity, the largest private equity firm in Korea.
Acushnet Company is one of the largest golf equipment companies in the world with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion in 2010. Its premium and storied brands include Titleist, the #1 ball in golf and a leader in high performance golf clubs, and FootJoy, the #1 shoe, glove and performance outerwear brand in golf.
“The Acushnet Company has long been the trusted steward of two of golf’s most revered and iconic brands, and has perpetuated the longest running records of golf equipment success in the game,” said Wally Uihlein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Acushnet Company. “The Fila Korea and Mirae group understands and appreciates our golf industry leadership, passionate associates, and unique and enduring culture. Together, with our new owners, our team is looking forward to strengthening and building upon the global success of the Titleist and FootJoy brands.”
After the acquisition, Acushnet will remain as a standalone company through separate operation from Fila Korea, with its worldwide headquarters remaining in Fairhaven, Mass., and led by Uihlein and Acushnet’s current management team.
The Acushnet Company has a history of successful growth and evolution. The Golf Division was founded in 1932, with the first Titleist golf ball brought to market in 1935. Fortune Brands acquired the Acushnet Company in 1976, and Acushnet acquired FootJoy in 1985. Acushnet’s net sales in 1975 were $51 million and with the combined strength of both brands have grown more than twenty-fold over the past thirty-five years.
The Titleist golf ball embodies product performance and quality excellence, and has been the #1 ball in golf for over sixty years and still counting. Titleist golf clubs have also earned broad acceptance with golf’s pyramid of influence through an unwavering commitment to performance, quality and fitting.
FootJoy has been the unequivocal leader in the golf shoe product category for more than seventy years and has owned the #1 position in golf gloves for more than three decades.
“We appreciate what Fortune Brands has contributed to the growth of our business over the last thirty-five years,” said Uihlein. “The support, encouragement and guidance they provided helped fuel our leadership position in the industry and marketplace. Together, we achieved record-setting milestones.”
Established in Italy in 1911, Fila is a leading sport and leisure footwear and apparel brand that is distributed worldwide. The group, led by Fila Korea and Mirae, also includes the National Pension Service of Korea, the fourth largest pension fund in the world, and Korea Development Bank, Korea’s largest government-owned bank.
“The acquisition of Acushnet transforms our platform with a stable of premier world class brands,” said Gene Yoon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fila Korea, Ltd. “We are equally excited to embrace Acushnet’s exceptional management team led by Wally Uihlein. With our extensive knowledge and reach in Asia, we believe that the Acushnet brands have incredible new opportunities for growth in the emerging markets in Asia.”
“We are very impressed with what Acushnet management and employees have accomplished so far,” said JH Ryu, CEO, Mirae Asset Private Equity. “We will fully support the company to remain focused on its core golf expertise and continue driving the growth of the industry.”
"Titleist and FootJoy are powerful global golf brands,” said Uihlein. “The fact that Asia Pacific represents over 30% of the world's total golf equipment spending, and that South Korean golfers are among the most passionate and organized in the game, is testament to the significant investment in the Acushnet Company by the Fila Korea and Mirae group. They recognize the strength of the brands and opportunities for growth particularly in golf's emerging regions.”
The sale is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and the transaction is expected to close this summer.Link to this entry!!!!
K.J. Choi Wins THE PLAYERS Championship
K.J. Choi (FJ ICON and StaSof) emerged from the star studded field to win THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Inclement weather on the previous day forced most of the field to play extra holes on Sunday. Choi began his Sunday on the 11th hole, finishing his last 7 holes in 2 under par to post a 67, 1 shot off of the 54 hole lead.
Choi quietly plodded his way around the Stadium course avoiding any major mistakes. His birdie on the famous island green 17th gave him sole possession of the lead at 13-under par. The pressure was then on Choi to par the last hole and force a playoff after his playing partner birdied 18. Choi saved par and the sudden death playoff was set.
On the first playoff hole, Choi played conservatively to the wider left side of the 17th green and trusted he could get down in two strokes. K.J. hit a perfect lag putt and made the next to win THE PLAYERS Championship. This is K.J.'s 8th career victory on the PGA Tour and by far the largest victory of his career. Later Choi said, "For me to shoot under par on this course every day, it's like a miracle, to be honest with you."
Thomas Aiken Captures first European Tour Title
South African Thomas Aiken (FJ ICON) is no stranger to winning on his home country's Sunshine Tour with 6 victories. However, a European Tour victory had eluded the 27 year old from Johannesburg until yesterday at the Open de España.
Aiken, fresh off a 7 week layoff, had low expectations in his first start after such a break. Stating he needed to, "recharge the batteries." The well rested Aiken would not disappoint, posting 8-under par after the first 3 days of competition, 2 strokes clear of the closest competitor. Continuing his solid play Aiken birdied 2, 6, and 11 to increase his lead. A pair of late bogey's would not derail his chances as he closed with 3 straight pars to finish off the tournament at 10-under par, 2 shots clear of the field.
Post victory Aiken stated, "I don't think it's quite hit home yet...I've been waiting for this for a long, long time and I've been knocking on the door. I'm ecstatic."Link to this entry!!!!
Westwood Wins 2nd Consecutive Title
Fresh off a decisive victory in Malaysia that claimed Westwood (DryJoys Tour #53635 and SciFlex) the number one spot in the World Golf Ranking, Lee claimed his second consecutive tournament with a win at the Ballantine's Championship. Wanting to validate his top position, Westwood came from behind to win in South Korea. Starting his final round three strokes back of the leaders, he shot a final round 5-under 67 to defeat his competitors by 1 stroke. Westwood later stated, “It was very tough and to go around without making a bogey, five birdies and 13 pars was a special round of golf."Link to this entry!!!!
Big Hitting Bubba Watson Wins Again
Bubba Watson (FJ ICON #52005 and SPIDR2) won the Zurich Classic for his second tour victory of the year and third overall. Throughout the tournament, the long hitting Bubba either shared the lead or held the top position himself. Beginning his final round tied with Webb Simpson (FJ ICON #52013) at twelve under par, Watson played solid golf on the front nine but still fell three strokes behind. Watson continued to play steady golf on his way through the back nine and posted fifteen under par for the tourney, forcing a playoff with playing partner Simpson. Both Simpson and Bubba birdied the first playoff hole. Playing the par-5 18th for the third time of the day, Bubba birdied from three feet and claimed the Zurich Classic. Watson also moves to number 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings with the victory.Link to this entry!!!!