Golf Buzz

January 9, 2017 - 10:08am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Web.com Tour
@WebDotComTour on Twitter
If you thought the Bahamas was all beaches, palm trees and pineapple drinks, you need to see what unfolded in Sunday's opening round of the Web.com Tour's The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.

Pro golf, man. All those men and women do is chase the sun, right?

Tell that to the guys on the Web.com Tour, in the Bahamas this week for the season-opening The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, running Sunday-Wednesday.

With winds up to 40 mph and rain coming down sideways along the Atlantic Ocean at Sandals Emerald Bay during the opening round, scores were... ummm... how shall we say, "high."

At one point in the round, the average score was 81 on the par 72 course (Tom Lovelady was the clubhouse leader at even-par 72). Bryan Bigley, Greg Eason and Byron Smith shot rounds of 90, 91 and 95, respectively.

Brendon de Jonge, a longtime PGA Tour player and member of the 2013 International Presidents Cup Team, shot a 17-over 89 -- one of 16 players who finished their first rounds with a score at 85 or worse.

That is not to poke fun, but rather to highlight the insane difficulty of the conditions players faced. This was practically golf in a hurricane.

Check out some of the videos from Twitter:

That sure doesn't look like paradise, does it?

There was ugly weather in May of 2013 as well when the LPGA visited the Bahamas for its Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. Twelve inches of rain smashed the course over two days right before the tournament was scheduled to begin. The tournament went on -- starting a day late -- despite having six unplayable holes on the course at the Ocean Club in Paradise Island, Nassau.

The tournament was reduced to 36 holes with four 12-hole rounds played.

 

January 8, 2017 - 7:01pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
jordan spieth, sbs tournament of champions, kapalua
USA Today Sports Images
After a rollercoaster week, SBS Tournament of Champions defending champ Jordan Spieth was able to clean up his scorecard on Sunday.

It was quite a week for Jordan Spieth. On one hand, he was a walking birdie machine pouring in 26 plus one eagle. But on the other he recorded several loose holes including five bogeys, two doubles and a triple. Friday's round was itself a rollercoaster.

But in Sunday's final round, Spieth showed why he was the defending champion of the event, carding a seven-under 65. And most importantly, he did so without a single bogey.

He was dialed in with his wedges, to the point where he wasn't even satisfied with this short approach on the 14th to about four feet.

 

Spieth even had a chance for the low round of the week after reaching the par 5 finishing hole in two, but settled for birdie.

 

The strong finish left Spieth at 16 under for the week, good for a top three finish.

After his round Spieth chose to focus on all of the positives in his interview with Golf Channel. "I certainly take a lot of confidence off this round going into next week." Spieth will tee it up at next week's Sony Open, also in Hawaii on Oahu.

January 8, 2017 - 3:30pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
pga hawaii
USA Today Sports Images
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is considering at the possibility of a combined event with the LPGA Tour at Hawaii's Tournament of Champions.

The possibility of a joint PGA/LPGA event has been passed around and talked about quite a bit in recent months. But a quote from new PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan indicates the idea could become a reality.

In an interview with the Golf Channel that will air Monday, Monahan spoke about his efforts with LPGA commissioner Mike Whan to bring a combined event to Hawaii. "You could see men and women here at the Tournament of Champions...that is something we are thinking about and talking to Mike and the LPGA about. We would like to see that happen. We have some interest from sponsors."

While no specifics were given as to how the tournament would be presented, the mention of sponsor support has to be a good sign for those that are working to make this event happen.

This is the latest development in a push for combined events that began in March with a "strategic alliance agreement" between the PGA and LPGA.

Here's another quote from Monahan on the value of the venture:

“We are spending more time talking about how do we drive more people to the game, both men and women, girls and boys. Can we potentially get men and women into the same field of play? Again, another thing that no other sport can do, and then looking at media. Are there some shared efficiencies with how we present our tours to the world at large?”

 

January 6, 2017 - 1:45pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ben Hogan
PGA of America Archive
After nearly losing his life in a horrific car accident in February of 1949, Ben Hogan returned to competitive golf 11 months later at the LA Open. Post-accident, Hogan would go on to win six of his nine major titles.

Today marks a special anniversary in the annals of golf history.

On this day 67 years ago -- Jan. 6, 1950 -- Ben Hogan returned to competitive golf at the Los Angeles Open, 11 months after a near-fatal car accident.

On Feb. 2, 1949, Hogan and his wife, Valerie, narrowly survived a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus in Texas. In a successful attempt to save his wife's life by throwing himself in front of her, Hogan likely also saved his own life since the steering column punctured he driver's seat.

Hogan, 36 at the time, suffered a double-fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and near-fatal blood clots: he would suffer lifelong circulation problems and other physical limitations.

Fifty-nine days after the accident, Hogan was out of the hospital and by November of that year, he resumed golf activities.

In that LA Open return, Hogan was outstanding, eventually losing a playoff to Sam Snead.

Post-accident, Hogan would win 11 more times on the PGA Tour, including six of his nine major championships. One of those majors was the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion, site of his iconic 1-iron shot, just a little more than a year after the accident.

Hogan, a captain of three Ryder Cup USA teams, would end his career with 64 PGA Tour victories, which is fourth all time.