Golf Buzz

Rickie Fowler
Red Bull
Rickie Fowler views the world from upside down.

Rickie Fowler is a self-professed daredevil by trade. He loves active sports -- as evidenced by his short-lived motocross career (which ended after he broke his foot in three places at age 15.) And he'd like to get into racing cars when his golf career winds down.

But even Rickie had to have a few butterflies in his stomach when he decided to take a ride with acrobatic ace and two-time Red Bull Air Race champion Kirby Chambliss recently over the pilot's property in Arizona.

You may need to take some Dramamine before you watch this:

 

 

 

According to the Red Bull website, Fowler "did it rocking mad steeze." I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I'm guessing it's a compliment of the highest order.

Lee Westwood

April 24 is remembered in part as the day of the creation of the Library of Congress, the opening of the Woolworth Building skyscraper in New York, the knighting of Winston Churchill and the birthdate of Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog.

But for golf fans, April 24 is more importantly the birthdays of Lee Westwood, Lydia Ko, Jonas Blixt and Jason Bohn.

To celebrate the occasion, we present this gallery of photos.

Westwood got himself a nice early birthday present last week with a victory at the Malaysian Open, snapping a two-year winless drought. Here are the final round highlights:

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 24, 2014 - 9:14am
mark.aumann's picture
Beware of snakes
FootJoy Europe/Twitter

Indiana Jones would not be amused.

According to the FootJoy Europe Twitter account, there's an unusual hazard at this week's European Tour stop: 

It doesn't say if the snakes are in the fairways, the water hazards, the rough or the bunkers. Or, most importantly, whether they're poisonous. Just be aware that there are snakes.

Oh, and 2013 was the Year of the Snake in China. So these snakes apparently don't have up-to-date calendar apps. 

Cheyenne Woods at Tampa Bay Rays game
Cheyenne Woods via Twitter
Cheyenne Woods did a great job throwing out the first pitch at the Tampa Bay Rays game on Wednesday.

The Symetra Tour is in the Tampa Bay area this week, and several of the players took advantage of the chance to attend the Minnesota Twins-Tampa Bay Rays game on Wednesday night. They were also on hand to lend their support to fellow player Cheyenne Woods, who got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Tiger Woods' 23-year-old niece is quite an athlete, not to mention the reigning Australian Ladies Masters champion, so it's no surprise that she strode right up to the pitching rubber – no wimpy throwing from in front of the mound for her. She then wasted no time in twirling a textbook 12-to-6 curveball that was one of the better celebrity first pitches I've seen in a while.

You can see her toss in an Instagram video right here.

No doubt part of the reason Woods made such a great throw was because she warmed up properly beforehand, as her pal Natalie Sheary showed us in this Instagram video.

Not that we're judging or anything, but Cheyenne did a little better than Lexi Thompson did at a Miami Marlins game the other day. I'm no more a pitching coach than a swing instructor, but it looks to me like Lexi didn't quite get proper extension on her toss. Thank goodness Billy the Marlin is so nimble.  

Back in Tampa, Cheyenne also got to meet Rays pitching ace David Price, who's quite a good golfer himself. Unfortunately for the Rays, however, the Twins won the game, 6-4, in 12 innings.

 

 
Nike Golf VRS Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition Driver
Courtesy of Nike Golf
The Nike Golf VRS Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition Driver features Fly-Brace technology that ties the sole to the crown, stiffening the rear portion of the club and transferring more energy to the face at impact.

At most big colleges, the football teams have recently played their spring games and concluded their practices until summer camp. At Nike Golf, college football is still very much on everyone's minds.

That's because the company used college football as the inspiration for its latest creation – a matte-black edition of its flagship VRS Covert 2.0 driver.

Sports teams often incorporate black into uniforms for a big rivalry game or season opener, Nike Golf says, adding that black is a color traditionally associated with power, strength and sophistication. The concept, the company notes, is especially popular in college football, where matte-tinted helmets have become all the rage.

"The Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition driver offers a unique, limited-edition design combined with Nike's high-speed cavity back technology," said Nike Golf Global Golf Club Business Director Rob Arluna. "The black matte finish on the head provides a sleek, modern aesthetic and eliminates glare. The black grip and shaft give the driver a stealth, covert look.”

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This limited-edition innovation features a black Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G grip, Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Black shaft and, of course, a matte black club head – a design element specifically modeled after matte black college football helmets.

Nike's High-Speed Cavity Back technology redistributes weight to the heel and toe to improve distance and stability across the face. The driver also features Fly-Brace technology that ties the sole to the crown, stiffening the rear portion of the club and transferring more energy to the face at impact.

The new driver also boasts two additional proprietary technologies: A larger, re-engineered NexCOR face for increased ball speed and distance, and FlexLoft adjustability, which allows golfers to easily customize loft and face angle positions for 15 drivers in one.

The Covert 2.0 Matte Black Edition driver will be available on Nike.com and at select retailers on May 15. It will come as a right-handed model only, and carries a street price of $299.

 

Matt Kuchar
Getty Images
Matt Kuchar celebrates Sunday after holing his bunker shot to win the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links.

First, Bubba Watson. Now, Matt Kuchar.

Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson tweeted his seal of approval after Kuchar's amazing hole-out from the bunker to win last weekend's RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. 

And trying not to read too much into it, it sure seems like Kooch can go ahead and start packing for Gleneagles in September. He's third in the current USA Ryder Cup points.

The previous week, Watson congratulated Ryder Cup points leader Bubba Watson on his Masters victory with a similar tagline. Perhaps it's just a nice gesture, but one gets the feeling Watson's already penciling in his lineup card. 

Watson was in the field at Hilton Head and was paired with Jordan Spieth, allowing the captain some first-hand scouting of a rising star.

2014 RYDER CUP: Team USA news, updates