Golf Buzz

March 19, 2017 - 5:07pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rory McIlroy
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Rory McIlroy didn't let a little try trouble get in the way of a sensational birdie at the par-5 16th on Sunday.

On Sunday at Bay Hill, it appears Rory McIlroy is picking up right where he left off with Saturday's 7-under 65 in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

McIlroy has played aggressive golf all day with a handful of drives over 360 yards -- including one that went 383 yards.

His birdie at the par-5 16th hole put him at 4 under for the day and gave him a share of the lead at 10 under.

McIlroy was behind a tree at 16 after his tee shot, but check out how he navigated his way around the tree and then the brilliant pitch that set up the birdie:

Pulling out all the stops just like Arnold Palmer would.
 

March 19, 2017 - 3:11pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Marc Leishman
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Professionals often times make birdies look easy. Marc Leishman's ball made this one look like a lot of work.

Marc Leishman had a birdie try from about 15 feet at the par-5 fourth hole in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Sunday.

He put a good stroke on the putt, but the ball decided to take the scenic route before eventually dropping in for a birdie:

A 360 into the cup. That'll do.

March 19, 2017 - 1:45pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Zach Johnson
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Just when it looked like a bunker shot by Zach Johnson was going to zoom past the hole, it hit the ball of Johnson's playing partner and redirected its path right into the hole for a birdie.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

Zach Johnson, a two-time major winner, is no doubt good (better than most, in fact).

But on Bay Hill's 17th hole in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, Johnson was extremely lucky.

Plugged in a greenside bunker after his tee shot at the par 3, Johnson blasted out. The ball had some serious pace and looked as though it would run well past the hole.

Instead, it hit the ball of Johnson's playing partner, Byeong Hun An, took a sharp left and dropped directly into the center of the cup for an unlikely birdie:

Johnson will take it.

As cool as that was, nothing comes close to touching the bank-shot ace Louis Oosthuizen made in the final round of the Masters a year ago:

I mean, come on.
 

March 18, 2017 - 6:05pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Charley Hoffman
@PGATOUR on Twitter
In a situation where he happily would have taken a par following a wayward tee shot, Charley Hoffman instead made an improbable birdie on the 18th hole at Bay Hill on Saturday to grab a share of the 54-hole lead.

Charley Hoffman was in trouble after his tee shot on Bay Hill's par-4 18th hole was pulled left.

Fighting some tree trouble, Hoffman pulled off an excellent punch shot that ended up just on the front edge of the green.

Even from there, however, a two-putt was a tall order.

Not for Hoffman though. Forget all that. He went ahead and knocked down the 71-footer for birdie to snag a share of the 54-hole lead at 11 under with Kevin Kisner.

Here it is:

Dinner sure is going to taste better tonight for Hoffman. That birdie at 18 made it three in a row to end the day. 

March 18, 2017 - 3:27pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Emiliano Grillo
@Skratch
The sixth hole at Bay Hill features a lake along the left side. On Saturday, that body of water claimed two of Emiliano Grillo's golf balls and then he gave it his club too.

Emiliano Grillo was cruising along at Bay Hill on Saturday.

At 7 under, he was just two shots off the lead when he stepped to the tee at the par-5 sixth hole.

That's where the wheels came off.

Grillo, winner of the Frys.com Open in 2015 and who finished 11th in the 2015-16 FedExCup standings, hit two balls in the water at No. 6 and then tossed his 3-iron in:

 

Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson put it best:

 

 

Grillo eventually found the green and two-putted for a quadruple-bogey 9 to drop back to 3 under.

Ouch.

To his credit, Grillo bounced back with a birdie at the par-3 seventh to get to 4 under. 

March 18, 2017 - 2:06pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Rickie Fowler
@PGATOUR
Rickie Fowler found the water at the par-4 11th hole at Bay Hill on Saturday... then nearly holed out for a birdie.

Saturdays on the PGA Tour are known as "Moving Day."

On Saturday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rickie Fowler -- dressed like the Arnold Palmer umbrella logo -- moved in the right direction.

Sporting duds that could probably be seen in outer space, Fowler fired a 7-under 65 early in Round 3 that moved him 49 spots up the leaderboard at the time of this post.

The coolest shot from the round came at the par-4 11th.

Like Henrik Stenson on Friday afternoon, Fowler found himself playing his third shot from the water left of the green (the ball wasn't submerged).

Unlike Stenson, Fowler hit a highlight-reel shot from the drink, nearly holing out for the most unlikely of birdies.

Instead, he had to settle for a "how did he pull that off" par.

Check it out: