Golf Buzz

March 6, 2015 - 1:45pm
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Detroit Tiger pitchers
Justin Verlander/Instagram
David Price, Justin Verlander and Tim Melville appear ready to play some golf.

Of the many deductions you can make about the game of golf, there are two that come into play here.

1. Golfers generally gravitate toward bright and unusual clothing choices.
2. Baseball players, particularly pitchers, generally gravitate toward golf -- especially given a warm March afternoon in central Florida.

PGA SHOP: Check out Major League Baseball golf merchandise

So with those two hypotheses in mind -- may I present to you Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander and David Price of the Detroit Tigers, along with spring training callup Tim Melville, all decked out for an afternoon of golf near Lakeland on Thursday afternoon:

 

Ready for golf today! #oldschool @davidprice14 and Tim Melville

A photo posted by Justin Verlander (@justinverlander) on

 

We know Verlander has some skills -- he participated in the 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and has been invited to play at Augusta National. And according to Melville, Vroom hit some dandies:

 

 

 

 

Will the Tigers trio continue their golf outings once the season starts? Hard to know, but they'll be following in some pretty impressive footsteps. Former Tiger farmhand and soon-to-be Hall of Famer John Smoltz -- a scratch golfer in his own right -- was instrumental in setting up tee times for his fellow pitchers on the Atlanta Braves staff.

VIDEO ANALYSIS: What makes John Smoltz's swing so great?

That group included Russ Ortiz, who now runs a golf clothing business in Arizona.

The urge to golf is strong in baseball pitchers. As is the urge to wear funny outfits.

 

March 6, 2015 - 11:25am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy
@NoLayingUp on Twitter
Check out this Rory McIlroy swing of the driver in infrared.

One of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow for golf is @NoLayingUp.

They refer to themselves as "golf fanalysts" and they're always posting funny stuff and inventing hashtags such as, "#TourSauce" (basically the art of anything dramatic in the game -- club twirls, holding a pose, tossing a club, etc.), and "#PrayForTedScott" in reference to the caddie for Bubba Watson, who has been on the receiving end of many an outburst by the two-time Masters champ.

RELATED: Scores from Doral | Koepka's flop-shot hole out | Bubba's eagle

Along with all the funny stuff, @NoLayingUp also puts out some really cool stuff -- like this infrared Vine of a Rory McIlroy swing with a driver that was posted today. Check it out: 

 

March 6, 2015 - 10:01am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Thongchai Jaidee
PGATour.com
Thongchai Jaidee made a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 eighth hole at Trump National Doral on Thursday, which included a rare shot that wound up behind the six-time European Tour winner.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee had one devil of a time on Trump National Doral's par-5 eighth hole in Thursday's opening round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Jaidee was 3-over par for the round when he made his way to the eighth tee -- his 17th hole of the day. Moments later, scorecard disaster struck for the six-time European Tour winner (and 13-time Asian Tour winner, which is second all time).

Here's a little play-by-play, showing you how Jaidee made a quadruple-bogey 9, which included one of the strangest -- and cruelest -- shots you'll ever see a professional golfer hit (more on that, with video, in a minute).

RELATED: Scores from Doral | Koepka's flop-shot hole out | Bubba's eagle

Jaidee's tee shot traveled 270 yards into the left rough leaving him 241 yards for his second shot. He hit the second shot 188 yards into more rough, leaving him a 105-yard third shot.

Splash. The third shot found the water. After taking a penalty stroke, Jaidee prepared to hit his fifth shot from the rough on a bank near the water, just 30 feet from the hole.

And that's where things got really, really ugly.

Jaidee lashed at the ball to hit a flop shot. It was a flop all right.

The ball went straight up in the air. When it eventually hit dry land, it bounced backwards and then Jaidee watched helplessly as it rolled into the water behind him.

Here's a look:

 

 

Jaidee had to take another penalty stroke, hit his seventh shot on the green and two-putted for the crushing 9. He bogeyed his final hole -- the par-3 ninth -- for a 6-over 43 on his inward nine and a final score of 8-over 80.

It wasn't all bad news for Jaidee on Thursday. He also made this spectacular par on the par-4 third hole: 

 

Harrison Ford plane crash
CNN via YouTube
A vintage airplane that Harrison Ford was flying Thursday landed hard on a fairway at a California golf course on Thursday.
 
Airplanes have crash-landed on golf courses multiple times over the years. Not until Thursday, however, had an airplane that crash-landed on a golf course been piloted by one of the world's most famous movie stars.
 
Harrison Ford – known far and wide as "Millenium Falcon" pilot Han Solo in the "Star War" movie cycle – was "banged up" Thursday afternoon when a 1940s-era plane he was flying landed roughly on a fairway at the Penmar Golf Course in Venice, California.
 
The plane clipped the top of a tree on its way down, then dug a pretty good divot in a fairway as it landed on its belly on the nine-hole municipal course. After the plane came to a halt, several golfers – one of whom was a doctor – pulled Ford from the plane and administered first aid until paramedics arrived, according to the Los Angeles Times.
 
 
"Harrison was flying a WW2 vintage plane today which had engine trouble upon takeoff," said Ina Treciokas, Ford's publicist. "He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely. He was banged up and is in the hospital receiving medical care. The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery."
 
The 72-year-old Ford, an experienced pilot who also is known for his role as academic-turned-adventurer Indiana Jones, underwent surgery later in the day for broken bones in his pelvis and ankle, according to KTLA-TV in Los Angeles.
 
Ford tried to get the two-seat, single-engine Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, a 942 military trainer, back to the Santa Monica Municipal Airport after its engine failed soon after takeoff, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Patrick Jones told reporters.
 
Here's a CNN report on the crash:
 
 
March 5, 2015 - 4:08pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bubba Watson
YouTube
In his first nine holes at Trump National Doral on Thursday, Bubba Watson hit at least one spectacular shot and then another that will give you the shivers.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson often wows us with his shot-making ability.

That was no different on Thursday in the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral. Playing the long par-5 12th -- his third hole of the day -- Watson faced a 224-yard approach shot from the middle of the fairway.

RELATED: Koepka's spectacular birdie hole out | Lexi Thompson's ace

Pulling a mid-iron from the bag (are you kidding?), Watson knocked it stiff to within a foot of the hole to set up an easy eagle.

You can see it here:

 

The 18th hole -- Watson's ninth of the day -- was a different story all together.

From the tee box, Watson unleashed a low, screaming drive way right that zipped just over the heads of the spectators lining the ropes. It was a scary moment, but luckily no one was hurt.

Watson would bogey the hole. Here's a look at that frightening tee shot:

 

March 5, 2015 - 3:22pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Brooks Koepka
YouTube
Grass island? Well, that was no problem for Brooks Koepka in the first round at Doral on Thursday.

Earlier today, Lexi Thompson recorded a hole-in-one in the LPGA's HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

Call me crazy, but I was sure that would be the best golf shot I'd see today.

RELATED: Lexi Thompson's hole-in-one | Share your ace story with PGA.com

Well, I was wrong.

Check this out from Waste Management Phoenix Open champ Brooks Koepka at Trump Doral's par-4 14th hole:

Are you serious? First off, how unlucky do you have to be to hit it into a "grass island?"

But then to take a mighty swipe at it like Koepka did and knock it in the hole from 39 yards out for a ho-hum birdie? Get out of here.

For now, we think that'll be the shot of the day.