Golf Buzz

December 25, 2013 - 11:21pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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PGA Tour Latinoamerica
Courtesy of the PGA Tour
The 2014 NEC Series-PGA Tour Latinoamerica will stage 16 events in 10 countries across Latin America.
The 2014 edition of the NEC Series-PGA Tour Latinoamerica will stage 16 events in 10 countries across Latin America, tour officials have announced. That's two more than the 14 tournaments played in 2013, and the calendar also includes new events in Panama, Guatemala and Mexico.
 
''We are delighted by the NEC Series-PGA Tour Latinoamerica's growth as we continue to expand playing opportunities to players internationally,'' said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. ''We have graduated 10 PGA Tour Latinoamerica players up to the Web.com Tour and one to the PGA Tour, which is the main mission of this tour.''
 
As was the case in 2013, the tour will be played in two halves, with the spring schedule beginning Feb. 17 at the Colombian Open. It continues the following week with the Stella Artois Open, a new event to be contested at La Reunion Golf Resort in Guatemala. 
 
The following week, the circuit returns to Merida, Mexico, then heads south for the 83rd playing of the Abierto del Centro in Cordoba, Argentina, where Angel Cabrera is the defending champion. The tour then returns to Montevideo, Uruguay, for the Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational Copa-NEC, and heads into its first-half final stretch with the Dominican Republic Open and a new event to be played at Buenaventura Golf Club in Panama.
 
 
The fall swing begins in late September at the Colombian Classic, followed by back-to-back events in Mexico. A week off precedes three consecutive national opens with the Peru Open, Aberto do Brasil and Abierto de Chile visiting three countries in three weeks before landing in Argentina for the final two events of the season. The race for ''Los Cinco'' – the five leading money winners who will advance to the 2015 Web.com Tour – ends in Buenos Aires once again with the last two events of the season, the Personal Classic and the 109th Abierto de Argentina capping the season on Dec. 7.
 
In total, the schedule features eight national opens, most of which rotate venues to showcase the host countries' top venues. This, along with the addition of the new events means the 2014 schedule will feature at least seven new venues.
 
''We're excited about the progress we've made in our first two seasons and are looking forward to a future of steady growth with some new events and venues that we think will help carry the positive momentum of our first two seasons forward,'' said PGA Tour Latinoamerica President Jack Warfield. ''The new events and venues as well as the commitment of our established events are the fulfillment of the NEC Series-PGA Tour Latinoamerica's vision, which is to develop a region-wide tour of successful events all in an effort to help develop the stars of the future toward the next step of professional golf, the Web.com Tour.''
 
Here is the complete schedule: 
 
Jan. 13-17
Latin American Qualifying Tournament
Country Club La Planicie in Lima, Peru
 
Jan. 20-24
USA Qualifying Tournament
Sun N Lake Golf Club (Deere Run) in Sebring, Fla.
 
Feb. 17-23
Colombian Open
Ruitoque Golf & Country Club in Bucaramanga, Colombia
 
Mar. 17-23
TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open
Guadalajara, Mexico
 
Mar. 24-30
Stella Artois Open
La Reunion Golf Resort (Fuego Maya) in Antigua, Guatemala
 
Mar. 31- Apr. 6
Mundo Maya Open
Yucatan Country Club (El Jaguar) in Merida, México
 
Apr. 14-20
83° Abierto del Centro
Cordoba Golf Club in Cordoba, Argentina
 
Apr. 21-27
Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC
Club de Golf del Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay
 
May 12-18
Dominican Republic Open
Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog) in La Romana, Dominican Republic
 
May 19-25
Buenaventura Championship
Buenaventura Golf Club in Rio Hata, Panama
 
Sept. 29- Oct. 5
Colombian Classic
Pueblo Viejo Country Club in Bogota, Colombia
 
Oct. 06-12
Mazatlan Open
TBD in Mazatlán, México
 
Oct. 13-19
Mexico Event
TBD in TBD
 
Oct. 27-Nov. 2
Lexus Peru Open
Los Inkas Golf Club in Lima, Peru
 
Nov. 3-9
Aberto do Brasil
Gavea Golf Clube in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
 
Nov. 10-16
Abierto de Chile
Club de Golf Los Leones in Santiago, Chile
 
Nov. 24-30
Personal Classic
La Reserva Cardales in Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
Dec. 1-7
109° Abierto de la República
Martindale Country Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
December 24, 2013 - 8:39am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Sun Mountain
Sun Mountain
Sun Mountain's new ClubGlider Golf Travel Bag.

New for 2014, Sun Mountain has introduced its ClubGlider Golf Travel Bag -- the only golf travel bag that offers extendable legs and wheels to support 100 percent of the weight, while eliminating the repeated bending and lifting required with traditional travel bags.

Sun Mountain explains that ClubGlider glides from parking lot to luggage counter thanks to legs that extend and support 100 percent of the weight and pivoting caster wheels that handle corners and curbs with ease. Once checked-in, the legs easily tuck away securely for carefree travel. ClubGlider offers all of the protection and storage space of a traditional golf travel bag while eliminating the heavy lifting and the need to bend over to pick up and set down every time the check-in line moves three feet.

RELATED: Sun Mountain introduces Cumulus golf rain suit

Making the cut from over 1,000 entrants in the Golf Channel "Fore Inventors Only" reality show, ClubGlider was named one of five finalists in this search for the next great golf invention. Following a successful introduction, Sun Mountain increased the offering to include additional models. ClubGlider Meridian is the name of the original ClubGlider. ClubGlider Pro is the largest of the models made to accommodate tour players' oversized staff bags or two lightweight carry bags. ClubGlider Journey is a smaller and lighter version and the new for 2014 Tour Series was designed to coordinate with the new Tour Series line of golf bags.

ClubGlider includes heavy-duty two-way zippers, thick foam padding extending down the travel bag to protect clubheads and shafts, storage pockets, internal cinch straps, reinforced wear areas, and a lift-assist handle.

ClubGlider is available in four different models: Pro, Meridian, Journey and the new Tour Series -- offering protection for golfers ranging from weekend warriors to touring professionals. Retail prices are $349, $289, $219, and $319 respectively. For the retailer nearest you call 800-227-9224 or visit www.sunmountain.com.

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

 

Miami Heat wearing Masters green jackets
Dwyane Wade via Instagram
Dwyane Wade said he and his Miami Heat teammates were ''channeling our inner Masters w/ the green jackets" at the Heat Christmas party.
Here in the dead of winter, it's hard for us golfers not to cast our thoughts ahead to the first part of April, when the Masters unfolds before us. Apparently, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade also has Augusta National on the brain.
 
At the Heat's annual Christmas party, Wade presented Masters-like green jackets to the players from last season's championship squad. I say Masters-like because the jackets aren't exact replicas. For one thing, they have the players' numbers on the sleeves. 
 
But Wade was clearly going for the ''tradition unlike any other,'' because when he posted an Instagram photo of his teammates wearing the green garb, he added: ''Channeling our inner Masters w/ the green jackets…#Lovemyteam #MastersGolf #wedowhatwewant #grownmenish.''
 
LeBron James also shared a team photo on his Instragram account, and said: ''@dwyanewade is in the giving mood tonight! Gave everyone from our championship team last year a green jacket reminiscing of the Masters! Unbelievably thought out! Fashion at the same time! Crazy! #TheHeatles #ChannelingOurInnerMastersAtGolf #RoleWithTheWinners.''
 
The players look very dapper in their jackets – even Chris ''Birdman'' Anderson there in the middle. I think my favorite part is that Wade, well known as one of the NBA's best-dressed men, is wearing those, shall we say, ''festive'' red pants.
 
And by the way, the Masters tees off on Thursday, April 10.
 
December 23, 2013 - 12:46am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Lydia Ko
Getty Images
Lydia Ko is forging into her future without Guy Wilson, her coach ever since she began playing golf.
This weekend was a big one for teen star Lydia Ko – it began with a second wave of rumors, as yet officially unconfirmed, that she has signed an endorsement deal with Callaway Golf. And it ended with the shocking news that she is splitting with the only coach she's ever had.
 
Ko told Television New Zealand on Monday that she was sad to have ended her partnership with Guy Wilson, whom she called a great coach and friend. But she said she and her family had decided it would be impossible to continue the relationship because she will be based in the United States and he in New Zealand.
 
''It doesn't really work, him being here and him coming on the weeks that I'm not playing a tournament means I'll only see him like 10 times a year, and to me that kind of situation didn't work out,'' Ko said.
 
Ko, 16, has worked with Wilson ever since she took up golf at age 5. He issued a statement saying he was ''incredibly disappointed'' their partnership was over. 
 
Ko dominated the global amateur game in her early teens, and won five professional tournaments – four as an amateur, followed by her first victory as a pro at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in Taiwan just a few weeks ago – under his tutelage. 
 
 
''When I first met her, the golf clubs were taller than she was and she didn't know the first thing about a driver or a putter, but now she has one of the most envied swings in the women's golf world,'' said Wilson, who added that it had ''been an honor to help develop Lydia into the No. 4 golfer in the world.''
 
Michael Yim, her agent at IMG, said Monday that Ko worked with various teachers at the David Leadbetter Academy in Florida before going to Taiwan for the Swinging Skirts tournament. Kim said Ko plans to meet with other teachers before deciding on a full-time coach.
 
Confirmation of her signing with Callaway is expected soon. Ko recently spent some time at Callaway's world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., where she met one of her idols, Callaway ambassador Phil Mickelson. Also recently, Ko has signed a management agreement with IMG Golf, and her family has begun looking into a home base in the United States as she prepares to play the LPGA Tour in 2014
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 
December 22, 2013 - 12:30am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Mason Kerr Stevens
Cristie Kerr via Twitter
Cristie Kerr and husband Erik Stevens have welcomed Mason Kerr Stevens into their lives.
Cristie Kerr has become a mother – she announced on Twitter Saturday night that she and husband Erik Stevens have had a son, named Mason Kerr Stevens.
 
And if you hadn't noticed that she was pregnant in her recent LPGA Tour starts, well, your eyes weren't playing tricks on you. On Twitter, the 16-time LPGA Tour winner indicated that she used a surrogate to carry her child to term.
 
''FYI he is our baby. 100%,'' she said on Twitter. ''I am not physically able to carry our children due to a medical condition. I wish I could.''
 
The little guy was born on Dec. 8, Kerr tweeted, as she offered her thanks for all the well-wishes she was receiving.
 
And, she added: ''By the way magnificent baby clothes with the magnets are the bomb! #nobuttons. ''
 
Here is her original tweet with the baby's photo, along with some congratulations by her fellow LPGA Tour players:
 
 
 
 
December 21, 2013 - 11:42pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Michael Kim
Courtesy of Cal Athletics
Michael Kim turns professional after becoming Cal's first national player of the year in men's golf last season.
Michael Kim, the 2012-2013 college player of the year, has turned pro and will surrender his last two years of eligibility at the University of California. Kim, who grew up in the San Diego area, is expected to make his pro debut at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in late January after accepting a sponsor's exemption.
 
Kim, currently fourth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was Cal's first national player of the year in men's golf last season, when he swept the Haskins Award, Golfstat Cup, Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year and Nicklaus Award as his Golden Bear squad won 12 of their 14 stroke-play tournaments to set a modern-era NCAA single-season record.
 
''I can't thank Cal enough for what it has done for me,'' Kim said. ''It was a really tough decision but I feel like I'm ready to take the next step in my career and turn professional.''
 
 
Kim also was the Pac-12 Men's Golfer of the Year as a sophomore, and earned first-team Ping Division I All-American and All-West Region honors in 2012-13. In addition, he was the individual medalist a single-season school-record four times last season, and tied for second on two other occasions among his seven top-5 and team-high 10 top-10 finishes.
 
Kim qualified for the 2013 U.S. Open, and finished as low amateur by tying for 17th place after rising as high as tied for third during the third round. He made the cut in the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic, reached the finals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and was on the winning United States teams in both the 2013 Palmer Cup and Walker Cup.
 
''We knew this was a possibility as last year unfolded,'' Cal Head Coach Steve Desimone told The San Francisco Chronicle. ''At some point, Michael was going to make this move. We wish him all the best – he was a great Golden Bear and always will be.''
 
Kim, 20, tied for 56th at the Web.com Tour Q-School finals last week, giving him only partial status on that circuit.