Golf Buzz

Ben Crane at The Barclays
Ben Crane missed the cut at The Barclays, but left a different type of impact there.

It's not uncommon to walk around a PGA Tour event and see people carrying around a pin flag with a bunch of autographs on it as a momento from their trip. One kid at last weekend's The Barclays in Paramus, New Jersey, got a different type of keepsake. 

As you can see in the video below, Ben Crane gave out his number to a young fan. 

 

Like the other kid asked in the video, how did he get Crane's number? It was actually pretty simple.  

Granted, you probably won't get a Tour player's phone number every time you ask, but you may have a nice conversation with him if he has the time. 

I'm curious if the kid has reached out to Crane yet. If so, was it a call or text? What did he say? 

There are so many questions. Maybe I should give Crane my number. 

August 28, 2014 - 8:33am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Keegan Bradley
USA Today Sports Images
For the likes of Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker and others, this is the last chance to make an impression on U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson.

For U.S. Ryder Cup Captain's Pick hopefuls, this is it -- the line in the sand.

The Deutsche Bank Championship, the second leg of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup, takes place beginning Friday at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. It's the final event on the PGA Tour schedule before U.S. Captain Tom Watson names his three wildcard picks next Tuesday in New York.

All of that means there are serious implications for U.S. players, including the likes of Hunter Mahan, Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson.

Mahan was the winner last week at the Barclays, but was it enough? Snedeker is known as one of the best putters in the world -- a huge asset in the Ryder Cup -- but missed the cut at the Barclays after posting three consecutive top-13 finishes.

RELATED: Deutsche Bank Championship tee times | Photos | Captain's Picks in NYC

Bradley missed the cut at the PGA Championship and finished in a tie for 53rd at the Barclays. This week is a home game for the New England native, at a course where he's finished in the top-16 each of the last two years.

Finally there's Simpson. He tied for fifth at the Wyndham Championship, which was sandwiched by missed cuts at the PGA Championship and the Barclays.

Of course, those aren't the only players to look out for at TPC Boston. Here are your five players to watch.

5. Henrik Stenson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
T3 at the PGA Championship
Reason to watch: Stenson is the defending champ at the Deutsche Bank Championship and it's the place where he started his magical run in 2013 on his way to becoming the first player to win both the FedExCup and the European Tour's Race to Dubai in the same season. It hasn't been a spectacular season for the Swede, but he did tie for fourth at the U.S. Open and he tied for third at the PGA Championship. He's had his European Ryder Cup spot sewn up for quite some time now. He's just playing to win.

4. Webb Simpson
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Reason to watch: As mentioned in the intro, this is Simpson's final opportunity to make an impression on Watson. He really needs a big week. Luckily for Simpson, he's got history at TPC Boston, having won the 2011 Deutsche Bank Championship. That T5 at Wyndham was promising, but the missed cut at the Barclays had to sting. It's put up or shut up time this week.

3. Rory McIlroy
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, PGA Championship
Reason to watch: The slumping McIlroy (calm down -- we're kidding) tied for 22nd at the Barclays a week ago in his bid to win in four consecutive starts. I think he's entitled to a pass, don't you? I mean rattling off three wins -- two majors and a World Golf Championship -- in three starts is as good as it gets. He's made it clear, however, that he'd also like to win the FedExCup. Having won the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2012, I'd say there's a good chance McIlroy gets back on a roll this week at TPC Boston.

2. Keegan Bradley
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Reason to watch: Bradley might be the most intense player on Tour and that's without a Ryder Cup Captain's nod hanging in the balance. All the stars are aligned for him this week -- he's got a home game on a track he's familiar with and the situation appears to be cut and dry: play great and you're headed to Scotland. Don't give Watson a reason not to pick you.

1. Adam Scott
Best finish in 2013-14 season:
Won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Reason to watch: Very quietly, the world's No. 2-ranked player is enjoying a solid season. He's finished in the top 10 eight times in 14 starts, hasn't missed a single cut and his worst finish by far was a tie for 38th at the Players Championship. Outside of that start, every other one has been inside the top 25. With those kinds of numbers it's hard to believe he could be overtaken for the No. 1 spot in the world, but that's a testament to just how great McIlroy has been. Nevertheless, Scott wants to pile up the wins. TPC Boston is a far different course than it was when he won the inaugural tournament there in 200, but he has had four top-10 finishes at the event since that victory 11 years ago. Expect the Aussie to be there until the end of this long holiday weekend. 

Lance Bennett and Matt Kuchar
Getty Images
Lance Bennett has caddied for Matt Kuchar for the past several years, in which Kuchar has been consistently one of the top American players.
Angela Bennett, the wife of veteran PGA Tour caddie Lance Bennett, died suddenly on Wednesday. Her death was from natural causes, according to a report on PGATour.com, though no other details were announced.
 
"This is a very difficult time for our family, but we appreciate the outpouring of love and support from the caddies, players and entire golf community," Bennett said in a statement released by Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports. Bennett is world No. 4 Matt Kuchar's caddie, and Steinberg is Kuchar's agent.
 
"Sybi (Kuchar's wife), the boys and I are sending our thoughts and prayers to Lance and (Bennett's 4-year-old daughter) Emma Grace during this devastating time," Kuchar said in a statement. "Angela was a cherished friend, a wonderful wife and a loving mother who made a major impact on all who were lucky enough to know her, and she will be greatly missed."
 
The caddies at this week's Deutsche Bank Championship will hand out black caps for players and caddies to wear during the first round on Friday as part of their tribute to Angela. 
 
Kuchar is still planning to play in this second FedExCup playoff event, with Brian Reed substituting for Bennett, according to the Golf Channel.
 
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie via Instagram
Michelle Wie reveals her painting process in a fun, and fast, video.
Well, okay, that headline is a little deceptive. But go with me here – Michelle Wie, who's off the LPGA Tour for a few weeks while she rehabs a finger injury – is quite the artist. In fact, she's been painting almost as long as she's been playing golf.
 
She's occasionally taken to social media to show off some of her creations, which are – to me, who can barely draw a stick figure – really impressive. To this point, though, all we've seen are the finished products.
 
But thanks to her new GoPro camera, the Big Wiesy captured the creation of her latest work from start to finish – and you can watch her transform a blank canvas into a work of art in a mere 15 seconds in the Instagra post below. Not sure we can glean any painting tips in the fast-motion replay, but it is definitely cool to watch her work.
 
To see more of her finished pieces, check out the Art section of her website
 
 
 
August 27, 2014 - 3:27pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
www.pnj.com
A farm in Florida has created a pretty incredible image of two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson in a corn maze.

Sweet Season Farms in Berrydale, Fla., is proud of its local boy, Bubba Watson.

Back in April, Watson won the Masters for the second time in three years. In September, he'll be representing the U.S. for a third time in the Ryder Cup.

As a tribute to Watson, Sweet Season Farms has done something extra special for the 11th annual Beaches to Woodlands Tour of Santa Rosa County -- it will be carving Watson's likeness into a corn maze.

From a report in the Pensacola News Journal (nice find by @bernard_daily on Twitter):

Sweet Season Farms in Berrydale has designed a maze that features Watson's distinctive left-handed swing and signature visor. Watson, who won the Masters in 2012 and 2014, is one of three Santa Rosa County and Milton High School natives on the PGA Tour. The others are Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum.

Watson commented on the maze design in a press release

"I feel honored to be represented in such a big way in my hometown," said Watson. "It's unique and very special."

He also sent out this tweet:

Now that's pretty cool. 

 

August 27, 2014 - 1:19pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Natasha Oon
YouTube
Natasha Oon, 12, won a Volvo XC60 for a hole-in-one she made in a tournament. The only probably is she's too young to drive.

Is there anything better for a golfer than making a hole-in-one?

Nothing... unless that hole-in-one comes with a prize.

Back Nine Network is reporting that was the case just last week at the 40th RSGC Ladies Amateur Open Championship, where Volvo Car Malaysia offered a brand new Volvo XC60 to any golfer who could make a hole-in-one over the course of the three-day tournament.

Well, guess what? It happened. Natasha Oon -- not knowing there was even a prize for an ace -- made a hole-in-one.

There was just one little problem: Oon is only 12 years old. She got to keep the vehicle, but can't drive it yet.

So what did the shot look like? Just a beautiful, towering flight, one hop and into the hole?

Not so much, Oon explained.

"I hit an 8-iron and duffed the shot," she said. "It hit the top of the hill and rolled. The first one to tell me that it was a hole-in-one was my mom. The insurance guy told my mom."

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, right?

Here's the entire interview with Oon, who has quite the personality:

OK, so it stinks that she has to wait a few years to drive her hole-in-one prize...

... But on the bright side, she's also not old enough to buy everyone drinks.