Golf Buzz

Tiger Woods
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Since today marks the start of the NFL Draft -- and it's a Thursday -- we decided to #throwbackthursday the time when Tiger Woods tackled an actor during a commercial shoot for Buick.

It's NFL Draft Day, so, in that spirit, we decided to put together a throwback Thursday that you you may remember: The time Tiger Woods ad-libbed during a Buick commercial shoot and flat-out tackled the actor who stole his clubs from his spot on the driving range.

Here it is:

The actor certainly didn't see that coming.

A lot of NFL teams could use a linebacker with moves like that. 

April 27, 2017 - 8:56am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
golf, baseball
Instagram
Check out the unbelievable ball flight this golfer gets when he baseball bats a golf ball with a driver off a makeshift tee.

One of the coolest shots in the history of golf is that head-high stinger Tiger Woods used to hit with ease. It was stunning to behold.

The ball flight -- or lack thereof -- was just amazing.

If you were a fan of that shot, you've got to see the one posted to the Instagram account "holein1trickshots."

I hesitate to call this a "trick shot" because it's basically the equivalent of a baseball player batting a ball off a tee.

In this shot, the golfer sticks a golf shaft in the ground and then pushes a tee into the top of the golf grip. He places the ball on top of the tee and then, taking a baseball swing with his driver, just punishes the golf ball on a smoking line drive.

Check it out:

How cool is that ball flight?

April 26, 2017 - 3:07pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Zurich Classic
USA Today Sports Images
The Zurich Classic has a new format this week, one we're really excited about. Rickie Fowler and Jason Day make up one of 80 two-man teams.

This should be a fun week on the PGA Tour.

For the first time, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will be a two-man team event. Here's how it will work:

The new 72-hole stroke play format will feature Foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and Four-Ball (best ball) during the second and fourth rounds. The starting field will consist of 80 teams (160 players). The top 35 teams -- and ties -- will make the 36-hole cut.

RELATED: Zurich Classic leaderboard | USGA, R&A announce new video review rules

With this format comes some awesome duos who will be pegging it together.

These are the nine we're most excited about:

9. Bryson DeChambeau and Rory Sabbatini
Why?:
What's that they say? Opposites attract? I'm not sure you'll find a team of two in the field more opposite than this one. DeChambeau is as methodical as they come. Sabbatini, meanwhile, doesn't waste any time. He gets to his ball and hits it. They're also quite different style and personality-wise.

8. Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley
Why?:
Aside from both having attended Alabama and being rabid Crimson Tide fans, these two aren't just teammates, but also roommates... not on the road, but at the home these buddies share in Jupiter, Florida. They've played tons and tons of golf together. Despite the fact that they're among the younger teammates in this event, you might be hard-pressed to find a pair that has played more golf together.

7. Daniel Berger and Thomas Pieters
Why?:
There's a very real possibility that while these two are teammates this week, they could be foes two years from now in the 2018 Ryder Cup. Berger just missed a spot on the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team, while Pieters was a star rookie for the losing European side at Hazeltine. Both are long, long hitters.

6. Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly
Why?:
Get your cheeseheads out, folks. The tournament might be in Saints country, but expect to see a lot of Green Bay Packers fans following these Wisconsinites. Stricker and Kelly have been a force in team events through the years that aren't considered "official PGA Tour" events. There's no reason to think they couldn't keep that chemistry going this week.

5. Steven Bowditch and Boo Weekley
Why?:
All I can think when I look at this team is "fun." Like, lots of fun. Bowditch is the most self-deprecating player on the PGA Tour today. Weekley, meanwhile, is one of the most unintentionally funny (or is it?) players in PGA Tour history. The two are great friends. Check out their Twitter accounts and you'll see photos of them on fishing trips together and playing practice rounds together. Bowditch has had a tough go with his game these last couple of years, so maybe a relaxed format like this with a goof buddy is just what he needs.

4. Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer
Why?:
Two Dallas boys with a ton of game. Palmer is the kind of player who has been known to rack up top 10s. With Spieth rocking a hot putter, life could be a little easier down the stretch for Palmer. Expect a lot of Cowboys talk between these two.

3. Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes
Why?:
Two of the biggest hitters in the game, there's a chance that this could potentially be a sneak peek at a pairing for the 2018 Ryder Cup in France. The duo has played in five Ryder Cups between them, but have never been players on the same team, though Watson was an assistant captain and Holmes a player on the winning 2016 team. Interestingly, Holmes is the only U.S. Ryder Cup player since Corey Pavin in 1993 who can count his first two Ryder Cup starts (2008, 2016) as victories. The only issue for this pair could come on the greens.

2. Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose
Why?:
We've already seen how good these two are in a Ryder Cup setting together. What will they bring to the table in an event that isn't nearly the pressure cooker and they can literally go all out on every single hole? Based on world ranking, this is the strongest team at the Zurich Classic. Reigning Open Champion Stenson is ranked No. 6, currently, while Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open Champion, 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2017 Masters runner up is No. 8.

1. Jason Day and Rickie Fowler
Why?:
Easy. Over the last five years, they've been two of the most exciting players to watch in all of golf. Day owns the only major between the pair -- the 2015 PGA Championship -- but both players have consistently racked up major top 10s outside Day's win and they're also both winners of the Players Championship. On paper, they're the second-best team in the field. Day is ranked No. 3 in the world while Fowler is No. 9.
 

Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington
USA Today Sports Images
To call the relationship between Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia "icy" through the years might be an understatement. However, it appears that iciness has thawed between the major champions after a chat at Rory McIlroy's wedding.

By now you've heard that Rory McIlroy tied the knot with Erica Stoll in a lavish wedding at a castle in Ireland last week, featuring performances by Stevie Wonder and Ed Sheeran.

But the biggest headline coming out of the otherwise private affair seems to involve two of the wedding guests -- major champions Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington.

Through the years, the European Ryder Cup teammates have never been all that chummy with one another.

Harrington defeated Garcia in a playoff at the 2007 Open Championship and Garcia was a runner up to Harrington in the 2008 PGA Championship. So, there was a bit of a rivalry there, but that only scratched the surface.

Harrington was never a fan of Garcia's on-course antics, which years ago included Garcia spitting in a hole on a green in frustration, an incident that didn't sit well with his peers and especially Harrington.

In the wake of Garcia's win at the Masters a few weeks ago where he finally shed that dreaded title of best-player-never-to-win-a-major, Harrington was interviewed and asked about his thoughts on the Spaniard finally snatching up that long-lost major.

Here's what Harrington had to say in his interview with 2FM in Ireland:

"We were such opposites...I worked at it, grinded it out, got the best out of it.

"I’m very strong on the etiquette of the game, so I don’t tolerate people spitting in the hole, throwing their shoes or their golf clubs. That would be my attitude. That would be quite clear from where I came from.

"Then we would have went into the majors, and obviously I beat him. I gave him every out I possibly could have at the 2007 Open.

"I was as polite as I could and was as generous as I could be, but he was a very sore loser. And he continued to be a very sore loser.

"Clearly, after that, we have had a very sticky [relationship]."

Harrington did admit that he and Garcia were on better terms because of their association with the Ryder Cup but had said hello through "gritted teeth" at the Masters.

"The Ryder Cup improves it no end, but we say hello to each other every day we meet, but it’s with gritted teeth. There’s no doubt about it," he added.

"It’s just one of those things... we’re rivals.

"I was delighted to see the emotion on the 18th green. Anybody watching that has got to feel for him. You could see in that moment in time that he has paid his dues.”

Understandably, the words that made headlines in the Harrington interview was his description of Garcia as a "sore loser."

Well, as fate would have it, Garcia was the first person Harrington saw upon checking in for the McIlroy nuptials.

Awkward, you might think. But, according to Harrington, it wasn't that way at all. Just the opposite, in fact.

Brian Keogh from www.irishgolfdesk.com, spoke to Harrington about that meeting with Garcia:

And while the Dubliner was bracing himself for a frosty reception after clouding his post Masters comments about being “happy” for Garcia in his moment of glory by recalling how he’d been a “sore loser” in the past, he was amazed at Garcia’s reaction. Two weeks after the storm broke, all is calm again.

“I would say to you that right now at this very moment, my relationship with Sergio is the best it has ever been," Harrington revealed.

Harrington told Keogh that the "sore loser" comments he made had to be dealt with and the were. He said, "Myself and Sergio are on a much better footing than we have ever been.”

So there you have it. All is now well on the Harrington/Garcia front. 

April 25, 2017 - 1:28pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Topgolf
Topgolf
Topgolf gave 2,251 free lessons on National Golf Day in 2016 and is hoping to surpass that this year.

Wednesday, April 26, is the 10th annual National Golf Day -- a day where a coalition of golf’s leading organizations heads to Washington, D.C., to educate our country's lawmakers about the game's significant impact.

As part of the National Golf Day celebration, popular Topgolf has announced that it is attempting to break a company record for the most lessons taught in a single day.

To hit that mark, Topgolf is offering a free, five-minute lesson to any guest who visits a Topgolf venue on April 26. In 2016, Topgolf venues gave 2,251 free lessons on National Golf Day.

“We are proud to celebrate the game on National Golf Day by offering our guests a free and easy way to improve their swing,” said Topgolf Entertainment Group Co-Chairman and CEO Erik Anderson. “Thanks to our Topgolf U instructional program, Topgolf is doubling down on our commitment to help grow the game by introducing our guests to the sport in a high-energy, fun and laid-back environment.”

What gets covered in the five-minute lesson is entirely up to you. The Topgolf website says, "That’s five minutes of fix-whatever-you-want-to-become-the-incredible-golfer-you-were-destined-to-be. If you’re looking to take a closer look at your swing, slow-motion video analysis through the Topgolf U instructional program will also be available."

"Topgolf has exhibited great interest in helping the golf industry with its growth of the game efforts, so partnering with them once again for National Golf Day is natural as we celebrate the event's 10th anniversary," said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. "In the last decade, the awareness of National Golf Day has grown significantly, and free lessons at Topgolf's venues in major metropolitan areas will help us continue reaching and engaging new audiences."