Golf Buzz

January 2, 2014 - 8:39pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Harris English
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
Harris English is making his debut playing Callaway and Odyssey gear this week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui.
Harris English has signed an endorsement deal with Callaway Golf, company officials announced Thursday.
 
English is making his debut playing Callaway and Odyssey gear this week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui. Callaway hasn't yet revealed the specific clubs in his bag.
 
"I've been really happy with the new Callaway clubs, and the team at Callaway has been fantastic,'' said English. ''In a short period of time I've been able to take advantage of the resources they have and I'm excited about the start of the 2014 season."
 
 
English is coming off a breakout season in which he earned his first PGA Tour win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic last summer, and backed it up with another win at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba at year's end. English was a four-time All-American at the University of Georgia, and won on the Nationwide Tour as a college amateur in 2011. 
 
English, 24, is just the latest young talent to join the Callaway tour staff. In recent days, the company also signed Thomas Pieters, James Erkenbeck and Chase Seiffert.
 
Pieters, a native of Belgium, won the 2012 NCAA individual championship at the University of Illinois and has earned status on the European Tour. Erkenbeck was the Mountain West Player of the Year at the University of New Mexico and a member of the victorious U.S. Palmer Cup team. And Seiffert was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection at Florida State University as well as the winner of both the 2012 Florida Open and the Florida Amateur.
 
January 2, 2014 - 8:04pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Graham DeLaet
Courtesy of Puma Golf
Graham DeLaet will wear Puma Golf apparel and accessories, and will play in red and white – Canada's national colors – every Sunday on the PGA Tour.
Graham DeLaet has signed an endorsement deal with Puma Golf, the company announced Thursday. The fast-rising Canadian star will wear apparel and accessories from Puma Golf's Spring/Summer 2014 Collection. 
 
His 'go-to' polo will be the Golf Tech Polo, featuring coolCELL technology for its combination of moisture-wicking properties and anatomically placed airflow for temperature regulation. Breathable mesh panels in the center of the shirt's back offer superior ventilation to one of the body's sweatiest zones while the three-button placket and self-fabric collar provide classic golf style. 
 
DeLaet will kick off the 2014 season at the Farmers Insurance Open later this month, and will play in red and white – Canada's national colors – every Sunday on the PGA Tour. Puma Golf will support DeLaet's signature Sunday look by sharing photos socially using the #CanadianSunday hashtag. 
 
 
In 2013, DeLaet finished second at the Travelers and Deutsche Bank Championships, and had 11 top-25 finishes. He ended the year ranked 36th in the world.
 
''PUMA Golf is a great fit for me and I couldn't be more excited to be part of the team,'' said DeLaet. ''I have always been a fan of the brand and the innovative combination of function and fashion they bring to the game. Their unique style is matched with top-performing gear that will undoubtedly help improve my game, and I look forward to represent PUMA Golf on Tour in 2014 and beyond.''
 
DeLaet also will be featured in Puma Golf's 2014 campaign through print, online and social ads as well as in-store signage alongside Rickie Fowler, Jonas Blixt, Jesper Parnevik and Blair O’Neal, and the campaign will highlight DeLaet's key looks from each collection. The first two looks of the Spring/Summer 2014 Collection are available at retailers and online now, while the next offering, with fresh styles and colors, will be available at retail Feb. 1. 
 
January 2, 2014 - 5:12pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Adam Scott at the Masters
Getty Images
Adam Scott was named the Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America for his breakthrough Masters victory and his overall excellence throughout the season.
Adam Scott edged Tiger Woods by a mere five votes to be named the Male Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America, the GWAA announced on Thursday. The choice was hardly as close elsewhere as Inbee Park (Female Player of the Year) and Kenny Perry (Senior Player of the Year) each gathered 91 percent of the 220 votes to take their honors.
 
Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters in April, then added a FedExCup playoff victory at The Barclays. Those two victories lagged behind the five titles won by Woods, which earned Woods the Player of the Year honors from both The PGA of America and his colleagues on the PGA Tour.
 
But the GWAA, which has honored Woods 10 times in the past as its Player of the Year, takes into consideration play around the globe. In addition to his two wins in the United States, Scott won the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Masters in back-to-back weeks, then teamed with Jason Day to win the team portion of the World Cup of Golf the following week, and lost the Australian Open by a single stroke to Rory McIlroy the week after that.
 
For the year, Scott – who is ranked second in the world behind Woods – played 20 tournaments worldwide, won four of them, finished in the top-3 eight times, had a remarkable 10 top-10 finishes and never missed a cut. In addition to his win at the Masters, Scott tied for third at the British Open and tied for fifth at the PGA Championship.
 
 
''It is an honor to be recognized as the most consistent male golfer of 2013 and it is appreciated to have the respect of the Golf Writers of America. Thank you,'' said Scott from Maui, where he's preparing to kick off his 2013-14 PGA Tour season at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
 
The 25-year-old Park scripted one of the most compelling golf stories in 2013 by stringing together victories in the season's first three majors – the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the Wegmans LPGA Championship, and the U.S. Women's Open. Her bid for a Grand Slam came up short when she tied for 42nd at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. She finished the year with six victories, the LPGA Tour money title and the No. 1 spot in the LPGA Tour's Player of the Year standings.
 
''Last year was a year that I could never forget,'' said Park, who finished well ahead of Stacy Lewis in the balloting. ''I was able to put my name among the greatest players around the world. Now, on top of that, I am being recognized and honored by golf writers. They are those who know what has just happened last year in every detail. I can almost say that they know me better than I know myself. That's why this honor is very special and means a lot to me.''
 
Perry had three wins on the Champions Tour, two of them majors – the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship and the U.S. Senior Open. He also earned the season-long Schwab Cup Championship and easily won the GWAA honor over Bernhard Langer.
 
''It is my highest honor, from the players or the writers, to be named player of the year,'' said Perry. ''Here I am at 53 doing stuff I probably shouldn’t be doing, I’m so honored that the writers are paying attention to me.''
 
The winners will be honored April 9 at the annual GWAA Awards Dinner in Augusta, Ga., the night before the start of the Masters.
 
January 2, 2014 - 12:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Adam Scott
Getty Images
Adam Scott had an incredible 2013 season around the world. Will he get the new calendar year off to a solid start in Maui?

The field for the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua's Plantation Course in Maui features 30 PGA Tour winners from 2013.

Here are the five you'll want to watch:

SCORES: Follow the Tournament of Champions all week with PGA.com's leaderboard

5. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2013: Won the BMW Championship
Reason to watch: First of all, Johnson is one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour (just four missed cuts in 24 starts a year ago). Secondly, do you remember how he ended 2013? With an incredible hole-out on the final hole of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge -- an unofficial event -- that eventually earned the past Masters champ in a playoff with Tiger Woods. Johnson took Tiger down in the playoff. We can't think of a more positive way to end a calendar year. Johnson must be thrilled to get 2014 under way.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: An insider's look at Kapalua's Plantation Course | Review the Plantation Course

4. Jordan Speith
Best finish in 2013:
Won the John Deere Classic
Reason to watch: If 2013 is any indication, Speith is going to be an electric player to watch for years to come. To think -- when the 2013 Tournament of Champions was being contested last January, Speith had no status on the PGA Tour. He relied on sponsor exemptions, parlayed them into top finishes, won an event to snag a two-year Tour exemption, was a captain's pick for the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team and earned PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors. And he's only 20 years old.

3. Adam Scott
Best finish in 2013:
Won the Masters and The Barclays
Reason to watch: It's hard to imagine that 2014 could be a better year than 2013 was for Scott. He became the first Aussie to ever win the Masters and proved himself to be a regular contender in all the majors. Add to that three victories in his homeland at the end of the year -- the Aussie Masters, Aussie PGA and the World Cup (alongside Jason Day) -- and a narrow defeat to Rory McIlroy in the Aussie Open. Scott has been on fire. He has also announced that he'll be taking six weeks off after the Hawaii swing on the PGA Tour, which means he'll miss the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Expect him to play great to go out on a high note before the break and certain major preparations.

2. Matt Kuchar
Best finish in 2013:
Won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Memorial Tournament
Reason to watch: Like Zach Johnson, Kuchar never makes any big mistakes. His name is just always hovering around the top of leaderboards throughout the season (15 top-25 finishes in 23 2013 starts). There's never one particular time of year when he's "hot" -- he's always consistent. Here's a look at Kuchar's last three finishes in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions: 3rd/2010; T6/2011; T9/2013. About the only thing left to do for Kuchar at Kapalua is win.

1. Dustin Johnson
Best finish in 2013:
Won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: Johnson is the defending champ in Maui. And, he also won the WGC-HSBC Champions in Asia in November -- which counts toward the 2014 season. Let's face it, he's got some of the most raw talent on Tour. The only thing that seems to stop Johnson these days are injuries. If he stays healthy, 2014 could be a huge year for DJ. He'll feel extremely comfortable at the Plantation Course.

Update: Yeah, about DJ and the whole staying healthy thing -- since this story published Thursday morning, word out of Maui is Johnson has withdrawn from today's Pro-Am with a stiff neck. We'll see if that keeps him out of the field once the tournament begins Friday when he's scheduled to tee off with Adam Scott at 12:50 p.m., local time.

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

 

Ernie Els
Getty Images
Ernie Els moves to Adams Golf after previous stints with Lynx, TaylorMade and Callaway.
Ernie Els has signed an equipment agreement with Adams Golf, meaning the Big Easy is making yet another big change. 
 
The four-time major champion will use a variety of Adams gear and wear the Adams logo on his bag and on his headwear, company officials have announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
 
Els has won three majors with different equipment companies: Lynx (1994 U.S. Open), TaylorMade (1997 U.S. Open and 2002 British Open) and Callaway (2012 British Open). 
 
 
Adams Golf was acquired in 2012 by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, so the 44-year-old South African is in a sense returning to a company that sponsored him earlier in his career. Els, who last month signed a footwear deal with Ecco to wear its street shoes, could wind up using a variety of clubs throughout his bag as the specific clubs he'll use have yet to be finalized.
 
Els was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. He is No. 27 in the world going into the 2014 season, which he is scheduled to begin on the European Tour's Middle East Swing in late January.
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 
January 1, 2014 - 3:18pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
john.kim's picture
January 1 - #PGA365
Photos: Courtesy awesome folks on Twitter
From Torrey Pines to Ireland, January 1, 2014 was well represented on Day 1 of #PGA365.

No one tells better golf stories than....golfers.

And if a picture tells a thousand words - what will a year of golf photos tell?

Thus, we introduce #PGA365. We want to tell the story of golf around the country (and the world) in 2014 through YOUR eyes. We know that every day, every hour, every second - someone is playing golf and loving it. We want to share the power of that passion with the larger golf community. We can do it in the most viral and social of ways - by using our social platforms.

All we ask that if you are out playing golf - capture the day with a photo and share it with us.

Once you have it - get that photo to us. Tag it with the name of the course, the date it was taken, and use hashtag #PGA365 to indicate you want it to be considered for the feature. Upload it to our Facebook page, tweet it to our Twitter account, tag it to our Instagram page or email it to us. (You can also tweet them to me at @johnkim)

We will chronicle every day of the year with a 'Photo of the Day'. But will we look at all of them and share as many as we can with the larger audience. In time, this will be a definitive look at golf in 2014. It will show the different courses, architectures, climates and conditions that we all play in - but more than anything, it will celebrate a game that we all love tremendously.

On Day 1 - we asked via Twitter for some help. The response was overwhelming. From Torrey Pines to the Florida coast - from beautiful sun to snow a foot deep - we received some incredible photos. All we ask is that you keep playing golf - and keep the photos coming.

We said we'd select one photo for Photo of the Day.  And here it is: From Joe Leenheer, PGA and their New Year's Day tradition at Silver Lake Country Club in Silver Lake, Ohio.

 

Thank you in advance for your support. You've already shown that you love and promote golf in the most extraordinary ways. This is simply adding to that already awesome story. 

UPDATE: See 'Photo(s) of the Day' for January