Golf Buzz

Paula Creamer
Getty Images
Paula Creamer is all smiles after holding a 75-foot eagle putt to win Sunday.

Paula Creamer certainly has a flair for the dramatic.

On the second playoff hole Sunday against Azahara Munoz at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore, Creamer was faced with a 75-foot putt -- up and over a ridge in the center of a severely sloping green -- that if she could make, would have given her an eagle and an end to a four-year victory drought. 

HSBC WOMEN'S CLASSIC: Paula Creamer's amazing eagle putt wins playoff

It's the kind of putt anyone would just hope to get close, but Creamer did much more than that. You'll just have to see it for yourself:

 

"It's one of those putts where if you just get it in the right spot, it's going to fall down," she said. "But I could stand there all day long and putt that and I don't think get it within six, seven feet."

HONDA CLASSIC: Watch Russell Henley hole a pitching wedge from 150 yards

Thank goodness she didn't need to stand there all day long. She just needed one attempt.

Oh, by the way, it's not the first time Creamer's shown the ability to make a long putt under pressure. Just check out what she did one day at the offices of Sports Illustrated:

 

 

Nothing but the bottom of the ... glass. And you've got to love the guy who peers out of his cubicle just as the ball rolls by.

Of the two shots, the one in the office might have been the more impressive -- mainly because it's so difficult to determine which direction berber grows. Usually it's towards the break room, so Creamer correctly read that big right-to-left turn at the end.

Russell Henley
USA Today Images
Russell Henley holed in from 150 yards on the par-4 14th Saturday at the Honda Classic.

Some golfers are long. Some are accurate. In Russell Henley's case on Saturday, he was both.

His drive on the 465-yard, par-4 14th hole at PGA National went 314 yards, leaving him with a 150-yard pitching wedge from the right fringe. A pitching wedge!

SATURDAY'S RECAP: Henley trails Rory McIlroy by two strokes at Honda Classic

You can imagine what happens next:

 

 

One little hop. Spin back, kiss the flagstick and go right down into the cup.

Funny thing? Henley might have been the last person to realize the ball went in the hole. His caddy reaches out for a palm slap, and Henley's still not sure for a few seconds.

MAKING A MOVE: Tiger Woods shoots 65, leaps up leaderboard

And how do you like Russell's little sly grin once he realizes what he just did? Amazing stuff. His DIVOT may have traveled farther than most average golfers can hit a full wedge.

 

 

February 28, 2014 - 7:33pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Jack Nicklaus at the 1971 PGA Championship
The PGA of America
Jack Nicklaus won the 1971 PGA Championship on a rare occasion when it was played in February.
Today, Feb, 28, holds an unusual place in major championship history – on this day in 1971, Jack Nicklaus won the PGA Championship in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the Honda Classic is being played right now.
 
That's not a typo – the event now known as "the season's final major" was actually the season's first major in 1971. It was played in February so that the original PGA National Golf Club could host it while also avoiding Florida's oppressive August heat. 
 
In a quirk of scheduling, the 1970 PGA Championship was played in August as usual, meaning that both of these two PGA Championships were played between the 1970 British Open and the 1971 Masters. In 1972, the PGA Championship returned to its usual late-summer spot.
 
The 1971 PGA was played Feb. 25-28 at the original PGA National, which is now known as BallenIsles Country Club (the East Course hosted the PGA Championship), and is just east of the current PGA National there in Palm Beach Gardens.
 
 
The Golden Bear's triumph – by two shots over reigning Masters champ Billy Casper – was his second PGA Championship victory, and made him the first player ever to complete two modern-day career Grand Slams. He went on to complete a third career Grand Slam in 1978.
 
Nicklaus posted a picture of his Wanamaker Trophy-winning self on Instagram earlier today, and shared a couple of memories from that victory.
 
"The 1971 PGA Championship was uniquely special," he said. "I got to compete in a major on a course virtually in my backyard; it was the last time the PGA Championship was held in February, rather than in August, and most important, the victory came on Feb. 28, my wife Barbara’s birthday. Without her, I would have never been the golfer I was fortunate to become."
 
"Also, Gary Player stayed with us that week and we had a lot of fun," he added. "That was when Gary claimed to have switched plates with me at the table, in case Barbara put something in his food. Then he was convinced Barbara's prune cake got to him by week's end. It was just a week of good-natured jokes and a lot of fun."
 
I hadn't realized that today was Barbara's birthday, so that victory must stand out among the most special of her husband's record-setting major haul. So happy birthday, Barbara, and hat-tip to the Golden Bear for this most unusual major championship victory.
 
Here's Jack's tweet:
 
 
February 28, 2014 - 4:34pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Getty Images
Graeme McDowell said Friday that his wife, Kristin, is pregnant with their first child, and they learned this week that it will be a girl.
G-Mac is expecting his own little Wee-Mac.
 
Graeme McDowell said Friday that his wife, Kristin, is pregnant with their first child, and they learned this week that it will be a girl. 
 
McDowell revealed that he found out his wife was pregnant on New Year's Day, soon after they had returned to Florida from a holiday visit to this family in Northern Ireland. The couple was married in October.
 
"We found on Tuesday it's a girl," he said Friday at the Honda Classic. "Obviously, we're real excited." 
 
For a former U.S. Open champion who plays a worldwide schedule, no timing is good timing. McDowell said the baby was due at the end of August. That's right in the middle of the FedExCup playoffs on the PGA Tour, and a month before the Ryder Cup in Scotland. 
 
 
McDowell has played on the last three European Ryder Cup teams, won the decisive match for Europe in 2010 at Celtic Manor and is a favorite to be on the team again. As for the playoffs? He has never fared well the last three years, so his wife having a baby can't hurt. 
 
"I think we're planning to have her, if all goes well, the Monday of Boston if she decides to stay in there that long," McDowell. "It's a great problem to have. I really don't care when she comes, as long as she's healthy. The playoffs into the Ryder Cup ... not much you can do there. But if it affects the playoffs, then it affects the playoffs. There will be other playoffs. You only have your first kid once." 
 
McDowell, 34, has 14 wins worldwide, including the 2010 U.S. Open title at Pebble Beach. He is No. 15 in the world. 
 
His wife, an interior decorator from Orlando, has a 5-year-old daughter from a previous marriage so, he says, "I already know all about Disney princesses." 
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 
February 28, 2014 - 2:44pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bushnell
Bushnell
The NEO XS GPS golf watch and the Tour Z6 JOLT rangefinder are just two of the new distance-measuring devices offered by Bushnell for 2014.

When it comes to locking in your yardages on the golf course, Bushnell GPS watches and rangefinders are a must for any golfer who takes his or her game seriously.

New for 2014, Bushnell has introduced the NEO XS GPS watch (MSRP: $199.99); Tour Z6 JOLT rangefinder (MSRP:$399.00); Pro X7 JOLT rangefinder (MSRP: $499.99); and Pro X7 Slope rangefinder (MSRP: $599.99).

The NEO XS features delivers even more benefits than the previous NEO X model with one button press such as shot distance, four hazards and round odometer, while providing over three rounds of battery life.

RELATED: Visit PGA.com's extensive equipment page | PGA.com's Equipment Buzz

Additionally, when the product is functioning solely in watch mode, the battery can last 24 months without needing a recharge.The NEO XS is Bushnell's lightest and thinnest golf watch. It's simple to operate and comfortable to wear, giving golfer's easy-to-read front/back/center yardages on greens, hazard and shot distance measurements on over 33,000 preloaded courses with no membership fees.

The NEO XS Golf GPS watch is capable of instantly recognizing courses and has an auto hole advance feature which automatically changes from one hole to the next, meaning the user does not have to push another button the entire round. And while the golfer is out on the course, the odometer feature allows you to track distance, speed, and total activity time.

The NEO XS is available in three colors: Black/Yellow, Charcoal/Orange, White/Cobalt.

When a golfer aims the Bushnell Tour Z6 JOLT rangefinder at the flag, JOLT Technology will provide short vibrating bursts to reinforce that the company's advanced PinSeeker technology has isolated the target and locked onto the flag. The vibrating bursts provided by JOLT Technology eliminates any and all doubt and assures the golfer they have the exact distance to the flag.

Also new to the Tour Z6 JOLT is 2nd generation E.S.P (Extreme. Speed. Precision) Technology. 2nd Generation E.S.P. provides yardages five times faster and more accurately than ever before. Not only has the acquisition speed been increased to a lightning fast level, 2nd Generation E.S.P. provides 1/2-yard accuracy from 5-125 yards, and the distance is displayed to 1/10 of a yard.

Having more accurate laser distances enables the golfer to strategize and hit every approach shot with confidence.

The ultra-compact Tour Z6 JOLT also features Vivid Display Technology. Created specifically for Bushnell's premium rangefinders, this optical enhancement improves contrast, clarity and light transmission dramatically for enhanced use. The brightness of the digital readout information has also been increased, providing rapid and positive yardage acquisition in all lighting conditions.

The new Pro X7 JOLT also features JOLT Technology and Vivid Display Technology. The brightness of the digital display has been increased, providing rapid, positive identification in all lighting conditions.These enhancements are offered with four user adjustable intensity settings, allowing superior rangefinding performance for any golfer.

The Pro X7 JOLT also boasts E.S.P. technology.

Engineered for golfers who play competitively, the Pro X7 is legal for tournament play (all Bushnell laser rangefinder models, except the Bushnell Pro X7 Slope and Bushnell Tour v3 Slope are legal to use when USGA rule 14-3/.05 is in effect). The Pro X7 Slope has the same features as the Pro X7, plus Slope Technology that provides compensated distances based on elevation changes.

To learn more about these products and all of Bushnell's golf offerings, visit www.bushnellgolf.com.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

February 27, 2014 - 4:58pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
john.kim's picture
Phil Mickelson offers a thumbs up
Courtesy USA Today
Phil Mickelson's "thumbs up" gesture quickly became one of the most iconic images of 2013.

Hey, are you guys excited about this weekend's Academy Awards? Nope, me neither.

I get that the Oscars is kind of important in the entertainment world, but when there seems to be some awards show celebrating the exact same thing seemingly every week - well, the shine is off the gold statuette.

Unless....what if someone came up with an awards show celebrating the things people actually are interested in. You know, like GOLF. It wouldn't be the best players (hey, we have majors for that!) or even the best coverage, but the things that you remember and enjoy that happen on a week to week basis. The things that aren't celebrated like they should be. We could call them the "Kimmys" and they would be the industry standard (or at least, in my mind.) No, there'd be no prize for the winners....but on their deathbed, they'd receive total consciousness. So they'd have that going for them...which is nice.

READ: Story behind the famous "Tin Cup" hole and golf course

Anyways ... let's do it. With a super secret committee of one judging, here are this year's Kimmy winners.

Best putt by a non-golfer: Patrick Burch, the Auburn fan who made a 90 footer to win a car. Burch, attending his first basketball game, is randomly selected from the crowd. He's not a golfer, didn't even think he could hit the large board on the other end of the floor, and well....
 

Best golf shot by an animal: The anonymous man, who was dressed as a dog, when he hit the shot to win a new Toyota. Yeah, you read that right. There was a little controversy as to whether he'd get the car, but ultimately, it was resolved in his favor. You know, every dog has his day type stuff. 

Best "going for a run" on a golf course: Kimberly Webster, you may know her as the Presidents Cup streaker. I'm not linking to the story or any image. But you can use Google if you want. (By the way, streaking is bad. Don't do this. But congrats on the "Kimmy")

Best disappearing act on a golf course: Mark Mihal, who didn't duck behind a tree, or go into the clubhouse at the turn to never come back. Nope, Mihal fell into a sinkhole while playing. "And like that, poof, he's gone."

Best flash of a finger on the golf course: Phil Mickelson. I probably get a few different fingers flashed at me from time to time, but Phil's "Thumbs Up" sign became iconic symbol of his very popular win at the sport's oldest major.
 

 

 

 

Best Dufnering pose: PGA Officers at the PGA Championship. I'm not saying seeing the PGA leadership having some fun with the Dufnering phenomena had anything to do with him winning the PGA Championship....I'm just not saying it didn't.

 

 

Best Caddie Read: Steve Williams. In the first playoff hole of the 2013 Masters, Williams was asked by his boss - Adam Scott - to take a look at the critical birdie putt. Williams saw it, disagreed with Scott's assessment and won the pace and line debate. Scott then makes the putt and claims Australia's first green jacket.

Worst Caddie Read: 18-way tie from a certain caddie of mine at a certain course that I'm not going to name. He knows who he is. #StillBitter

Best way to turn pro: Lydia Ko's round of golf with famous New Zealand rugby player "Izzy" Dagg culminates in her official (and fun) announcement that she's ready to turn professional.  

Best ad and worst tv golf ad: Mike's golf shop. Really. Best and worst. 30 seconds of awesomeness - and awfulness.
 

Best tweet announcing we're not open: Pinehurst Resort shares the famous Payne Stewart statue to create some Tweet magic on a day when there'd be no golf taking place on No. 2.

 

 

Best day for double eagles: Jan 10th, 2014. That's the day - literally a world apart - Joost Luiten, playing in South Africa, and James Hahn, playing in Hawaii, both recorded the ultra-rare albatross. Better yet, both were caught on film.

Best two-hole stretch of golf: Jim Machowski. This New Englander had two aces in the same round. That's incredible. Actually, he had them back-to-back. That's unreal. Oh wait, he had them both on par 4s!  That's...ridiculous.  What a day at Ridgewood Country Club in Moultonborough, N.H.

Best tan line: Stewart Cink. No really.

 

 

Best bunker save: Friends of Dougie Thompson, who rescued him from the jaws of a 12-foot crocodile.

Best way to honor a friend:  Friends of Tom Churchill gathered to play some golf at the annual "Closing Day" at the Cassique River Club, when they leanred their pal Churchie had passed away the night before. They decided to dedicate the day to his memory.  71 golfers took part. Six made aces. Amazing. 

Obviously, this only highlights some, a few, of the great and fun acheivements in golf in the past year. The awards are highly subjective and not that important. But they're still better than watching the Oscars (says me). What are your golf awards? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

John Kim doesn't think awards are important but he has won three CableFAX awards in the last three years and thinks you should know that. You can follow him on Twitter at @johnkim