Golf Buzz

June 7, 2016 - 12:09pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Chris Crawford
USGA Twitter
With a U.S. Open spot riding on a 40-foot birdie putt at the 36th hole of the day, amateur Chris Crawford created a memory for himself that he'll never forget.

If you've been playing golf most of your life, chances are you've had those moments on the practice green, with the sun setting, imagining you were stroking a putt to win a major.

With the sun setting on the 18th green Canoe Brook's North Course in Summit, N.J., amateur Chris Crawford was faced with a 40-footer for birdie and a spot in next week's U.S. Open at Oakmont.

Crawford, who recently finished his senior season at Drexel, had just bogeyed the 17th hole after missing a 3-foot putt for par.

Perhaps a little spooked by that missed putt, Crawford hooked his tee shot on the par-5 18th hole and was forced to play his second shot down the adjacent 13th fairway. A third shot, from 185 yards, set up the 40 footer on his 36th hole of the day -- with everything riding on it.

Here's what Crawford went ahead and did (h/t GolfDigest.com):

No matter what happens for Crawford next week at Oakmont, he'll never forget how he punched his ticket into the 116th U.S. Open. 

June 7, 2016 - 11:18am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
gator
Austin Swanger
Considering the rivalry between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, it should come as no surprise that the Peach State is countering this week with a mammoth gator video of its own.

Remember last week when video emerged of that alligator/dinosaur from a golf course in Florida?

Well, considering the rivalry between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, it should come as no surprise that the Peach State is countering this week with a mammoth gator video of its own.

In a video posted by Austin Swanger (h/t UPI), tournament coordinator at The Club at Savannah Harbor, you can see this monster named "Chester" hanging out near the cart path behind the first green:

 

"Since everyone seems to be fascinated with the big gator in Florida that has gone viral, I present to you our big boy here in Savannah!" he wrote.

If we're being fair, the Florida gator is larger than this one. But still, I'd prefer not to encounter either during my casual round of golf.

Swanger also had these videos on his Facebook page:

 

Once again... No thank you. 

June 7, 2016 - 9:39am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ian Poulter
RyderCup.com
On Monday, Ian Poulter was named a vice captain for the European Ryder Cup team. Here we take a look at some of Poulter's top Ryder Cup moments as a player.

The news broke last week that Ian Poulter would be sidelined for the next four months due to a foot injury.

You never want to see anyone hurt. But with the news also came the realization/relief for Ryder Cup USA hopefuls that Poulter will not be participating in the 2016 matches at Hazeltine in September.

As a competitor, anyway.

On Monday, Ryder Cup Europe Captain Darren Clarke appointed Poulter as one of his vice captains -- a brilliant move by Clarke since Poulter has established himself as Europe's fiercest Ryder Cup competitor since Seve Ballesteros.

When it comes to Poulter and the Ryder Cup, outrageous things tend to happen. He plays like a man possessed in the bienniel matches. Players admit to trying to peak at the majors. Poulter always seems to peak at the Ryder Cup. The cup seems bigger for him than anyone else in the competition. Over the last several years of European dominance, Poulter has been right at the top of the list when you try to identify the players that have been the biggest thorn in the U.S. side.

Poulter has been a member of five European Ryder Cup teams. Only once in that stretch -- 2008 -- has he been on the losing end. His overall record is a remarkable 12-4-2 and his .72 winning percentage is tops amongst all Europeans with at least three Ryder Cup appearances.

Perhaps most amazing when it comes to the record is the fact that Poulter is 4-0-1 in singles. How nice it must be for a captain to know he is virtually assured a point when Poulter goes out on the final day.

Here are five of our favorite Poulter moments in the Ryder Cup:

Poulter sets the tone at 2012 matches. In the first match off of the morning foursomes on the second day of the 2012 matches at Medinah with Justin Rose, Poulter riled up the masses on the first tee, encouraging them to whoop it up as he played his tee shot. It was part rock concert, part golf match. A bold move at an away game. Poulter and Rose would win the match, 1 up:

 

Ian Poulter chips in at No. 15 in Day 2 Fourballs at the 2014 Ryder Cup. Poulter and Rory McIlroy would halve the match against Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler.

 

Poulter chips in for eagle on 11th hole at Celtic Manor in 2010 on his way to a dominating 5&4 victory over Matt Kuchar in singles:

 

Poulter birdies last five holes for win in 2012 Saturday Fourballs match with McIlroy over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson. Just when it was looking like the 2012 Ryder Cup would be a rare U.S. romp, Poulter gave his European teammates a small glimmer of hope going into Sunday's singles, salvaging a crucial full point in the anchor match. That knocked the European deficit to 10-6 heading into the final day. A monster lead for the U.S., no doubt, but not insurmountable. The Americans proved that deficit could be overcome in 1999 when they rallied from the same four-point margin to win in Brookline, Mass. (This video shows Poulter's last three birdies beginning at the 8:02 mark):

CLICK HERE FOR THE HIGHLIGHTS

Poulter was a perfect 4-0 at the 2012 matches.

And, finally, the facial expressions -- many of which you'll see in this Poulter Ryder Cup profile:

 

June 6, 2016 - 10:49am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Sergio Garcia
PGA TOUR YouTube
Sergio Garcia climbed a tree to play a shot during the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

After seeing that amazing recovery shot by Dustin Johnson on the 10th hole at Muirfield Village in the Memorial over the weekend, it got us thinking about other spectacular recovery shots in recent years.

Here are nine of our favorites:

The "chip" from Tiger Woods in the 2005 Masters. Given the circumstances, this is arguably the greatest shot in the game's history. As Woods was staring at what would have been an amazing par, he instead went ahead and made the most unlikely of birdies on the par-3 16th hole at Augusta National on his way to winning the Masters.

 

Miguel Angel Jimenez on the Road Hole. One of the most daunting holes in all of golf -- the 17th at St. Andrews, the Road Hole -- has had an endless list of victims through the years.

RELATED: Best recovery shots from the 2015 PGA Championship

In the 2010 Open Championship, Jimenez found himself over the green in three shots and up against the wall along the road. No problem:

 

Bill Haas from the water in the 2011 Tour Championship. Remember this? There was only $10 million hanging in the balance -- the bonus given to the winner of the PGA Tour FedExCup playoffs.

Haas calmly entered the water to the left side of the 17th green at East Lake Golf Club and delivered this remarkable shot to set up a short par. He would go on to defeat Hunter Mahan to win the tournament and the $10 million bonus:

 

 

Victor Dubuisson makes two incredible par saves from the desert at the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. This little-known Frenchman -- who would go on to be a force for Europe in that year's Ryder Cup -- channeled his inner Seve Ballesteros in the Match Play Championship to pull off two of the most impressive up and downs you'll ever see.

 

Vijay Singh on the 16th hole at TPC Sawgrass in the final round of the 2001 Players Championship. Check out how creative Singh got with his putter for this spectacular hole-out from just off the green:

 

Phil Mickelson on No. 18 in the 2008 Colonial. OK. It's said that trees are 90 percent air, but you're just not supposed to be able to do what Mickelson did here on his way to winning the tournament -- on the final hole no less:

 

Phil Mickelson from a cart path at Doral in 2013. When it comes to Lefty, we always expect the unexpected. But, to nail this up-and-down from a cart path for birdie was something special... even for him:

 

Rory McIlroy goes lefty at the 2014 PGA Grand Slam of Golf. After getting a little unlucky with his tee shot, McIlroy had to play his second shot on the par-5 17th at Port Royal left handed so not to stand in the water. He had a remarkable recovery on his way to a par:

 

Sergio Garcia from a tree at Bay Hill. If there's anything you should have learned in this piece, it's that players loathe having to give away shots. There's arguably no shot that highlights that thinking more so than this one from Sergio Garcia -- in a tree -- during the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational, going one-handed and backwards:

 

 

June 6, 2016 - 8:12am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Dustin Johnson
PGA TOUR Facebook
Dustin Johnson probably made out a lot better on this recovery shot than he ever could have imagined.

Along with the talent that comes with being a PGA Tour player, you also have to have a high degree of creativity. You need to be able to "see" shots that others can't even fathom.

And, if we're being 100 percent honest, it also takes a good bit of luck.

That brings us to what Dustin Johnson did on the 10th hole Sunday during the final round of the Memorial Tournament.

After his tee shot sailed left into some bushes, Johnson's only option -- without taking a penalty stroke -- was to try and poke the ball out of the bushes back into play.

So, that's what he did... And this is what happened:

 

How about that? Sometimes the cart path can be your friend.

After taking free relief from the path, Johnson hit his approach to 12 feet and two-putted for bogey.

Johnson finished the Memorial alone in third, one-shot out of a playoff.