Golf Buzz

September 21, 2016 - 8:37am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Prestwick
Prestwick
Young Tom Morris, a four-time Open Champion, recorded the first known hole-in-one in golf history in the 1800s. There had been conflicting reports about the actual year it occurred, but now we have the actual date nailed down.

Last Friday it was our intention to put together a post recognizing the first known hole-in-one in golf history by Young Tom Morris.

While compiling information for the post, we ran into a snag. Through research, we found conflicting dates as to when the hole-in-one actually occurred. Some publications referenced the 1868 Open Championship at Prestwick (including the World Golf Hall of Fame website), while others had it as the 1869 Open, also at Prestwick.

Looking to get to the bottom of whether this achievement was 148 years old or JUST 147 years old, we put in an inquiry to the fine folks at Prestwick in Scotland, hoping we could clear it up.

It took a few days before our inquiry made it to the proper person, but we're happy to report we nailed down the date. The Young Tom Morris ace happened on the 166-yard, par-3, eighth hole -- the "Station Hole" -- on Prestwick's original 12-hole course in the first round of the Open Championship, played on Sept. 16, 1869.

Ken Goodwin, Secretary of Prestwick, was kind enough to provide a photo of the scorecard from that day:

Interestingly, if you look in the top-right corner, you'll see that the original year -- 1869 -- is crossed out and "1868" was written in. There's an explanation for that, Goodwin told us.

"For a long time there was a lot of confusion about which year Young Tom had a hole-in-one in the Open with various publications giving conflicting dates," Goodwin wrote in an email. "There was even some confusion at the Club in the 1930s when the scorecards were collated with the 1869 date being changed to 1868, but the newspaper report from the local press in 1869 definitely confirms that 1869 was the correct year."

If there's one thing we know -- and love -- about Scottish links courses, it's that typically not a whole lot has changed on them in the last 100+ years, with the exception of extending from the original 12 holes to 18 holes.

So, we wondered, could any one of us take a crack at that same par-3 hole today where Morris made his ace? As it turns out, the answer is "no."

"The Prestwick course was extended to 18 holes in 1882," Goodwin said, "only three of the original holes were retained and the old eighth hole was removed, so no longer exists."

Young Tom Morris, 18 years old at the time, would go on to win that Open Championship at Prestwick -- the 10th played -- by nine shots over runner-up Bob Kirk. Young Tom's father, Old Tom Morris, finished in sixth-place, 23 shots behind his son. The field consisted of just 14 players.

It was the second of four consecutive Open Championship wins for Young Tom Morris (he won in 1868, '69, '70 and '72 -- the tournament was not played in 1871). A year earlier, he became the youngest champion in tournament history at age 17 -- a record that stands to this day.

So, there you have it. To set the record straight, the Young Tom Morris hole-in-one -- the first known ace in the game's history -- happened on Sept. 16, 1869. 

September 20, 2016 - 1:38pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ben Crane
@bencranegolf on Instagram
Ben Crane is no stranger to viral internet videos. He may have a new one with this pre-shot dance routine.

Ben Crane, a five-time PGA Tour winner, might actually be better known for his viral videos.

Well, the man who put the "Golf Boys" together is at it again in a new video with a new pre-shot routine:

 

Working on some new pre shot routines at the @cinkitchallenge. I think I blacked out during this one @kelleyjamesmusic

A video posted by Ben Crane (@bencranegolf) on

Those are some moves. 

September 19, 2016 - 8:34am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Andrew Johnston
USA Today Sports Images
Andrew 'Beef' Johnston, who became an instant fan favorite this year, earned playing privileges for the 2016-17 season on the PGA Tour via Web.com Tour Finals. That means we'll be seeing a lot more of Beef over the next 12 months.

If you're a fan of Andrew "Beef" Johnston -- and really, who isn't? -- here's some good news: You're going to be seeing a whole lot more of him on the PGA Tour in the 2016-17 season.

Beef secured playing privileges on the PGA Tour for the new season thanks to a fourth-place finish in the Albertson Boise Open on the Web.com Tour over the weekend (part of the Web.com Tour's Finals series). Beef was playing as a non-member, having earned enough PGA Tour dollars in 2015-16 to have placed in the top 200 in the FedExCup standings if he had been eligible.

The top 25 on the Web.com Tour Finals money list earn PGA Tour cards, and by earning $54,910 through his first two events (sixth on the list) Beef has already earned enough to play on Tour full time.

RELATED: Meet 'Beef' -- golf's new cult hero | Beef's amazing house (or is it?)

In April, the 27-year-old Englishman won the Real Club Valderrama Open de España on the European Tour and instantly became an internet star with these post-victory comments (skip to the :24 mark):

Johnston, who also finished eighth in the Open Championship, was a little more reserved when he earned his Tour card on Sunday:

Great stuff.

Earlier in the week, Beef was asked what it would be like to be a member of the 2018 European Ryder Cup team.

"Chaos!" he said. "I'd love it man. I'd have loved to play this one in the States. I think it would have been really difficult for you guys (Laughs). But yeah, I'd love to. That's what you want to do. You grow up watching it, and you want to be a part of things like that."

And what if he had made it on the 2016 team teeing off at Hazeltine in less than two weeks?

"I think it'd be great fun man," he said. "Even if they booed me for like three days solid, I'd still have love for them after. It's like part of the tournament, and I think it'd be good fun anyways, and it'd be good trying to silence them for three days. Then maybe having a good hug with them afterwards with them." 

September 15, 2016 - 3:31pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rickie Fowler
@Sam_Dorman1 on Twitter
After representing the U.S. at the Rio Games, Rickie Fowler had the Olympic rings tattooed on his forearm.

While many top golfers took a pass on the Rio Olympics, Rickie Fowler couldn't hide his enthusiasm about the opportunity to play for a medal as an Olympic athlete.

Fowler -- one of Davis Love III's Captain's Picks for Ryder Cup USA -- continually showed his support for golf in the Games and was delighted to represent his country in Rio.

Fowler didn't medal in Rio -- he tied for 37th -- but since returning stateside, Fowler continues to rave about the experience and has also teased fellow competitors who passed up the chance to go.

As if it weren't already an experience Fowler will never forget, now he really won't ever forget it, because all he'll need to do is look at his right forearm.

Fowler, along with buddy Sam Dorman who took silver in the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard diving event, visited a tattoo palor this week and had the Olympic rings inked on their right arms.

Dorman tweeted out the finished product:

September 14, 2016 - 11:35am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Belen Mozo
@Twitter
Playing in a Ladies European Tour event over the weekend in Germany, LPGA Tour player Belen Mozo made a hole-in-one in the final round. Her celebration was almost as good as the shot itself.

Hole-in-one videos are the best.

Yesterday, we showed you maybe the coolest ace ever made early this week by a University of Wisconsin golfer -- a slam dunk.

While the shot was unreal, the celebration (at least what the camera caught) left something to be desired. No knock on the golfer, but he acted like it was something he'd done before and maybe he has. But, speaking for the rest of us hackers: SHOW ME SOME EMOTION!

That brings us to today's hole-in-one video, compliments of Belen Mozo.

Having missed her last five cuts on the LPGA Tour, Mozo took a turn on the Ladies European Tour last week for the Ladies European Masters.

It proved to be a great decision, as Mozo finished runner up at Hubbelrath Golf Club in Dusseldorf, Germany over the weekend, thanks to a final-round 69, which included this ace on the 142-yard, par-3 13th hole:

Now THAT is a celebration!