Golf Buzz

Pablo Larrazabal
Getty Images
Pablo Larrazabal had to jump into a lake at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club to escape the wrath of a swarm of hornets.

European Tour player Pablo Larrazabal of Spain turns 31 years old today, and we want to extend our birthday congratulations – and our wishes that his celebration is a little less exciting than his experience a couple weeks ago.

Larrazabal, you might remember, is the guy who was attacked by a swarm of hornets during the Maybank Malaysian Open and had to jump into a lake to get away from them. He was stung 20 times before he made his water evacuation.

Amazingly, he got out of the lake, dried off, and still birdied the hole.

"They were three times the size of bees," Larrazabal told EuropeanTour.com after his ordeal. "They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time. I didn't know what to do. My caddie told me to run so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake... It was the scariest moment of my career, for sure. I've never been so scared."

Man. If there's not an award for "hole of the year," there ought to be. 

T.J. Auclair recounted this crazy tale in detail in a Golf Buzz post right after it happened, and you really ought to check it out – it even includes the video of the hornets chasing Larrazabal to the lake.

Larrazabal went on to tie for eighth in Malaysia, then tied for 36th the week after that in China. At No. 20 on the European Tour money list and No. 63 in the world ranking, he's back home this week for the Spanish Open, where he opened with a much-less-eventful 72 today. 

So Happy Birthday to you, Pablo. You deserve a great one – and here's hoping that your celebration tonight is indoors.

 

May 15, 2014 - 10:03am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Charles Barkley
YouTube
Charles Barkley's golf swing is, well, unique.

Charles Barkley is a Hall of Fame NBA player and winner of a Sports Emmy Award for "Outstanding Studio Analyst" for his work on TNT.

But, as we've seen through the years, poor Chuck isn't much of a golfer.

RELATED: The NBA on TNT | NBA Playoffs coverage | Charles Barkley's official website

On Wednesday, Barkley joined Champions Tour star Fred Couples and new Auburn men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl for a pro-am ahead of the over-50-circuit's first major, the Regions Tradition in Alabama.

Lucky for all of us, someone was there to make a compilation video of some of Barkley's swings.

Barkley was the subject of renowned golf coach Hank Haney's, "Haney Project" on the Golf Channel a few years ago, but as you can see in the video, the retired star power forward hasn't been able to adapt on the course.

Though his swing certainly won't make you envious, you've got to appreciate Barkley's love of the game. In an interview on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, he told Holly Sonders he plays just about everyday.

He also noted to Sonders, "The fans aren't here to watch me play. They're here to laugh at my swing."

Hey -- at least he knows. Chuck has always called it like he sees it.

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

 

Poinsettia Fire as seen from La Costa
Dave Cordero of TaylorMade via Twitter
The Poinsettia Fire as seen from the Omni La Costa Resort on Wednesday afternoon.
Carlsbad, Calif., is well known as an American golf mecca – the home of big-time golf equipment companies like Callaway and TaylorMade, and top-notch resorts like La Costa and Aviara.
 
On Wednesday, though, the city and its environs began dealing with a major wildfire that began shortly before noon PT. One of about a half dozen separate fires burning in the greater San Diego area, this fire – which is being called the Poinsettia Fire – was exacerbated by a perfect storm of record drought, extreme heat, low humidity and heavy winds, and had burned about 400 acres by nightfall. 
 
Approximately 15,000 homes and business have been evacuated – among them the TaylorMade complex, which also includes Ashworth and adidas Golf, along with the headquarters for such companies as Callaway, Odyssey, Cobra Puma Golf and the West Coast offices of Titleist, along with several smaller golf companies that together total several thousand employees.
 
Employees from several of those companies took to social media to pass along some unsettling photos of the fires but, thankfully, there had been no news reports of damage to any of the companies' buildings as of late Wednesday. 
 
The Omni La Costa Resort – which for years hosted the PGA Tour's Match Play Championship, as well as several other big events – reported via social media that the flames got close to its property before changing direction. The resort remained open, offering discounted rates to people displaced by the fires. 
 
Nearby, however, the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort – which hosted the LPGA Tour's Kia Classic in March and is one of the more scenic golf resorts in America – was closed and its staff and guests evacuated. There were reports of considerable destruction in the Aviara neighborhood, but no reports of damage to the resort itself as of late Wednesday.
 
Here are some Twitter posts showing the fires. Nicole Roberts works for SKLZ, while Chad Coleman works for Callaway:
 
 
 
May 14, 2014 - 2:44pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, has always been a brand known for it's comfort and quality.

That remains the case with offerings this spring that include two new polos -- the Austin Argyle and the Solid Supreme -- as well as the brand's very popular Ombre Plaid short and more traditional Signature Garment Dyed shorts.

RELATED: PGA.com's extensive equipment page

The Austin Argyle ($98.50) is crafted from 100 percent Egyptian Cotton for an unmistakable comfort. The material is light and doesn't get in the way of your swinging motion. As with virtually all the apparel Bobby Jones has to offer, the Austin Argyle is great in a boardroom or on the golf course and goes perfectly with the Signature Garment Dyed Shorts, featuring a nice blend of cotton and spandex for tremendous fit and comfort.

You can't go wrong with the Bobby Jones Solid Supreme Cotton polo ($85), which comes in a variety of colors. Featuring the softest 100 percent pima fabric available, the polo has a three-button placket with the classic Bobby Jones Player embroidery.

The solid polos pair up perfectly with the Ombre Plaid Shorts ($98.50), constructed of 99 percent cotton and 1 percent spandex.

For more information on the Bobby Jones brand, visit www.bobbyjones.com.
 

May 14, 2014 - 12:22pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Louis Oosthuizen
Twitter
It started with a wrong first name on a reserved parking space at the Players Championship last week. This week, Louis Oosthuizen is sporting a golf bag with the incorrect first name thanks to a gag by buddy Charl Schwartzel.

Before we get started, it should be noted that "Louis Oosthuizen" isn't the easiest name in golf to spell and it sure isn't the easiest to pronounce.

But, it's typically the last name that causes all the issues -- not the first.

Last week, my colleague Mark Aumann brought you the story of Oosthuizen's reserved parking space at TPC Sawgrass for the Players, which read "Larry Oosthuizen."

A good sport, it was Oosthuizen himself who tweeted about the error:

 

 

This week, Oosthuizen and good friend and fellow South African Charl Schwartzel are both playing in the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Schwartzel, it appears, decided to have a little fun at his buddy's expense in light of what happened last week.

Oosthuizen tweeted this moments ago:

 

 

Nice prank by Schwartzel (yeah, he doesn't have the easiest name to spell either).

Louis? Larry? Call him whatever you'd like, as long as you remember him as the 2010 Open Champion.

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

May 14, 2014 - 8:52am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Case Cochran
@casecochran on Twitter
Case Cochran, son of Champions Tour player Russ Cochran, made a walk-off hole-in-one on Tuesday to earn the final spot in this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship. It will be his first PGA Tour start.

You've heard of the walk-off homer in baseball, but how about a walk-off ace in golf?

Rare, yes. But it has happened. Paul Casey did it during a Saturday foursome match in the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club in Ireland. Jonathan Byrd won the 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with a walk-off ace on the fourth playoff hole (see video below).

Now you can add Case Cochran to that elite company.

Cochran aced the fifth hole of a playoff at a Monday qualifier -- which spilled into Tuesday -- to earn the final spot in this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship.

RELATED: Byron Nelson Championship tee times | Auclair's five players to watch

Cochran, son of former PGA Tour winner and five-time Champions Tour winner Russ Cochran, was part of a four-way playoff for the final three spots in the Irving, Texas, PGA Tour event after shooting a 69 in the qualifier.

With two of the three spots snagged by Jason Allred and Chris Thompson, Cochran was left to battle Chris Parra for the final spot.

On the fifth playoff hole -- a 152-yard par 3 -- Cochran earned his ticket for a first-ever PGA Tour start thanks to a 7-iron that found the bottom of the cup.

"He told me he didn't see it go in," said Russ Cochran, according to a report by GolfChannel.com's Jason Sobel. "Once he got on the green, he saw his ball mark six feet from the hole and had a good feeling. Sure enough, it was in the hole.

"He's super excited. He's been playing well on the Adams Tour and I knew he was feeling good about his game. It will be his first PGA Tour event and he's pumped up."

Late Tuesday night, Case Cochran sent out this tweet:

 

 

And he also sent out this tweet, which is pretty self-explanatory:

 

 

Case Cochran will play the first two rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship alongside Miguel Angel Carballo and Bronson La'Cassie. They tee off at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Oh, and in case you don't remember it, here's Byrd's walk-off in Vegas:

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