Golf Buzz

December 31, 2013 - 6:33pm
Posted by:
John Kim
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Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy
Getty Images
Tennis and golf mix quite well when it comes to Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy.

This is how you start the year on a high note!  (Assuming "Yes!" is an actual proposal - they never did actually specify that)

Two-time major winner Rory McIlroy and long-time girlfriend and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki just announced (via what else, Twitter) that they are more than simply dating.  The two are in Australia and sent out these two tweets as they welcomed in the year .

 

 

Rumors about the couple have swirled all year and every golf and tennis event where either showed up without the other seems to have exacerbated all the speculation as to whether they were still an item or not. Hopefully, the ring will mean that the two can focus on their respective sports now without the constant scrutiny and distractions of tabloid speculation.

Oh, but planning that wedding... 

You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim 

December 31, 2013 - 9:02am
Posted by:
Bob Denney
Michael.Benzie's picture
Bob Tway at 1986 PGA Championship
PGA of America
Tour sophomore Bob Tway rallied to catch 54-hole leader Greg Norman on the back nine at Inverness Club.

As if Harry Houdini himself was coaching from the sidelines, Auburn twice (against Georgia with 25 seconds to play and vs. Alabama with no time on the clock) found the magic to steal a pair of victories this college football season.

In tribute to the War Eagles, the favorite birds of reigning PGA Champion Jason Dufner, let’s take a look at what may be 10 of the best walk-off moments in golf history.

READ: THE BEST SHOTS OF 2013

10. Tweet, Tweet, Birdie – 2005 U.S. Women’s Open - Cherry Hills Country Club, Englewood, Colo.

South Korean Ju-Yun “Birdie” Kim, competing in her first U.S. Women’s Open, was standing in a greenside bunker at 18, tied for the lead with Morgan Pressel, who watched from the fairway. Kim blasted the ball out of the sand from 90 feet and floated it onto the green. It bounced a few times, then rolled and rolled toward the cup and disappeared. When Pressel, needing a birdie to tie, failed to hole her chip shot from in front of the green, Birdie Kim won the way no golfer in the men's or women's Open ever had - holing out from a bunker on the final green.

9. It was In the All the Way, Mate – 2004 Ford Championship – Doral Country Club, Miami, Fla.

Australian Craig Parry reached for a 6-iron and holed out from 176 yards for eagle on the famed 18th at the Blue Monster at Doral, beating Scott Verplank on the first playoff hole. Parry said that his brother, who was his caddie, said “I feel like a Shaun Micheel at the PGA coming on.” Micheel’s 2003 approach at Oak Hill Country Club stopped two inches from the flagstick, while Parry had the pleasure of a dunk on one of the most challenging closing holes on the PGA Tour.

 

 

8. Gamez had the Right Number - 1990 Nestle Invitational – Bay Hill Club, Orlando, Fla.

Robert Gamez had his adrenaline pumping, and decided to shift down to a 7-iron on the 441-yard 18th hole at the Bay Hill Club in the 1990 Nestle Invitational. Trailing Greg Norman by a stroke, Gamez hit his approach from 176 yards at the flagstick, and watched as the ball went out of sight for an eagle. ''When the ball went in,” said Gamez, “I was relieved the round was over and that I didn't have to make a putt for birdie.”'

 

 

7. Mr. Aoki Rises – 1983 Hawaiian Open – Waialae Country Club, Honolulu

Isao Aoki holed out a 128-yard wedge for eagle from the left rough of the 18th fairway at Waialae Country Club, defeating Jack Renner by one stroke in the 1983 Hawaiian Open. The shot was heard around the world, making Aoki the first Japanese player to win a PGA Tour event. Renner, who buried his head in his hands after Aoki’s shot caused the gallery to erupt, bounced back. One year later, on the same course, he defeated Wayne Levi in a playoff.

READ: NBA STAR'S CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF GIFT

6. A Zinger of an Ending – The Memorial Tournament - Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio

Trailing his closest friend, Payne Stewart by one stroke in the 1993 Memorial Tournament, Paul Azinger dumped his approach on the 18th hole into a left-hand greenside bunker. Stewart, meanwhile, had blasted from a bunker to eight feet above the hole. It was Azinger’s turn. He opened the face of his wedge, blasted out and watched as his ball just cleared the lip of the bunker and rolled 15 feet into the hole. Azinger pulled off his visor, raised his club in the air with his other hand and sunk to his knees in the sand. Stewart then three-putted to finish third, as Corey Pavin slipped into second.

 

5. Why They Call him King -- 1960 Masters – Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

Arnold Palmer followed a birdie on the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club by hitting a 6-iron to within six feet of the flagstick at 18 and making that to capture the 1960 Masters, his second green jacket. It was the catalyst for what would be a signature year for the King, as he went on to win the U.S. Open at Cherry Hills with a classic comeback and was runner-up in the Open Championship.

READ: 30 OF OUR FAVORITES TO WIN THE MASTERS

4. Holy Toledo, Bob! – 1986 PGA Championship – Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio

Tour sophomore Bob Tway rallied to catch 54-hole leader Greg Norman on the back nine at Inverness Club. Tway, however, hit his approach on the 18th hole into a front greenside bunker. With his head barely able to peek over the steep bank, Tway blasted out and saw the ball track into the hole. Tway jumped up and down in the sand like a schoolboy who had won a date with the homecoming queen. He became the first player in modern history to win the PGA Championship with a birdie on the 72nd hole.

 

 

3. Big Shot for the Little Guy – 1995 U.S. Open – Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.

Corey Pavin uncorked a 209-yard 4-wood on the 18th hole like he had a tuning fork for a baby grand, and won the 100th U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Pavin’s approach shot landed just short of the slippery, sloping green and ran up and came to rest five feet from the hole. Pavin broke into a run and sprinted a few yards ahead. When he saw his ball stop, he raised his arms in triumph. He two-putted for par, which was two strokes better than Greg Norman.

2. Local Boy Magic – 1987 Masters – Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

Again, Greg Norman is a victim of a shot that is etched in golf history. The 1987 Masters came down to a sudden-death playoff featuring Seve Ballesteros, Norman and Augusta native Larry Mize. Ballesteros three-putted the first extra hole, the 10th, to bow out. On the par-4 11th hole, Mize’s approach landed to the right of the green and 140 feet from the hole. His chip bounced twice up a grassy bank and once on the putting surface before it rolled halfway across the green into the hole. What is forgotten is that Mize birdied the 72nd hole after hitting a perfect 3-wood, a perfect 9-iron and a perfect six-foot putt.

 

 

1. Misty Legend in the Pines – 1999 U.S. Open – Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2

Tied for the lead with playing partner Phil Mickelson as a fine mist fell, Payne Stewart hit a 90-yard wedge approach to 18 feet below the hole at the 18th green at Pinehurst No. 2. Mickelson watched from the edge of the green. His wife, Amy, was home expecting to give birth at any time to the couple’s first child. Stewart stroked home the par putt, thrust his fist into the air with one leg stretch out behind. Less than five months later, Stewart died in a plane crash. A bronze statue of Stewart in that victorious pose rests behind the 18 green today.

 

 

December 30, 2013 - 8:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Jimmy Walker via Twitter
Kapalua looks especially inviting to all of us golfers stuck in the cold weather on the mainland this week.
The PGA Tour comes back to life this week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions out in Hawaii, and the players have been trickling into Maui over the last couple of days. There's not been a lot to report so far, but I wanted to pass along this photo from Frys.com Open winner Jimmy Walker just because it's so gorgeous.
 
Walker, who lives in Boerne, Texas – where it was 45 degrees and cloudy on Monday – shared the photo via Twitter, and said it was his view at breakfast as he looked out over the Plantation Course at Kapalua. 
 
I don't have anything else to add about the photo, but this is a good time to remind you that the tournament kicks off on Friday and runs through Monday. TV coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday on the Golf Channel and, of course, we'll be covering it here on PGA.com as well.
 
Here is Walker's original tweet:
 
 
 
 
December 27, 2013 - 11:51pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Arnold Palmer
Photo: Courtesy Arnold Palmer Hospital
When Arnold Palmer makes a special request, even Santa Claus feels compelled to say yes.

Why is Arnold Palmer "The King?"

Is it because of his seven major championships? Or his charisma and handsome looks that made golf a popular, television product? Is it because of his ability to smile and make others feel as if every moment with him means as much to him as it does to the millions of fans he's encountered? Well, all of these - and then some - surely have something to do with it.

But I like to think that he's "The King" because he can look represent the sport of golf in a way that, quite simply, no one else can. His charitable works surpass anything he's done between the ropes. And when he can't do it, he knows who to call that can make the magic happen. The latest ad from the hospital that bears his name is a perfect case in point.

Check it out...and never mind the dust that will surely settle into your eye.
 

You can follow John Kim on Twitter at @johnkim

December 25, 2013 - 11:21pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
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
tj.auclair's picture
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.