Golf Buzz

September 14, 2014 - 12:08pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Andy Sullivan
Andy Sullivan's ace on the 15th hole at the KLM Open earned him a trip to outer space.

Back your bags, Andy Sullivan. You're leaving this planet. 

Thanks to his ace on the 15th hole at the KLM Open in The Netherlands, Sullivan has won a trip to outer space.  

 

The prize was only offered on the par-3 15th. Thirteen other golfers finished with a birdie on the hole on Sunday, but only Sullivan will be taking the trip on Lynx Mark 1, courtesy of XCOR Space Expeditions. 

Related: KLM Open offers trip to space for hole-in-one

According to BBC, Sullivan plans on taking his 30-minute flight to 330,000 feet (100 kilometers) above the Earth's surface. To help give some perspective on that, NASA lists that mark as the start of outer space though it is still within the Earth's atmosphere. 

Sullivan is a 28-year-old Englishman who finished third at the KLM Open. There are no career victories listed on his European Tour profile page.

Greg Norman
Greg Norman via Instagram
Greg Norman posted a shocking photo on Instagram late Saturday, showing him lying in a hospital bed with his left arm all bandaged up. The photo indicates that he almost severed his left hand while using a chainsaw earlier in the day.
 
"Working with a chainsaw ALWAYS be respectful of the unexpected. I was one lucky man today," he wrote. "Damaged, but not down & out. Still have left hand."
 
All the info we have on the incident at this point is contained in that social media message. I'll guess that the 59-year former world No. 1 was working on his Jupiter Island, Fla., property when the accident happened.
 
The Shark is well known as an outdoors kind of guy, and it's no surprise that he would pick up a chainsaw and do some work himself. Here's hoping the injury isn't too serious, and that he's up and around again as soon as possible.
 
UPDATE: Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press reports that Norman "was cutting back trees in his South Florida home when the weight of a branch pulled his left hand toward the chain saw. He said the blade hit him just below where a person would be wearing a wrist watch. He said doctors told him it missed his artery by a fraction of an inch."
 
"Thank God the blade wasn't running full speed or it would have taken my hand off," Norman said. "I handled everything as calmly as I could. There is no major damage. There is nerve damage, but no muscular damage. They fixed me up and here I am."
 
Mason Nome
Courtesy of AJGA
Mason Nome "has dreamed since he was little about someday playing golf for the University of Texas," his father, Craig Nome, said.
Every so often, we see a story in which an ambitious young athlete pledges his allegiance to a college program years before he's eligible to actually do so. Just last month, Little League star Mo'ne Davis of Philadelphia expressed her desire to play college basketball at UConn, even though she's just entered the eighth grade.
 
It's happened again, this time in golf. Just the other day, 13-year-old Mason Nome of Houston announced his intention to play at the University of Texas after he graduates from the Kinkaid School in 2019.
 
"He has dreamed since he was little about someday playing golf for the University of Texas," his father, Craig Nome, told Golfweek, "and he cannot wait to be part of the future of Texas golf."
 
A lot of times, these youthful dreams fade in the light of reality. Nome, however, just might become an integral part of the Longhorns program – which enters this season ranked No. 1 – down the road. 
 
 
The eighth-grader is the second-ranked player in Golfweek's Class of 2019, and has assembled an impressive record in junior events over the past couple of seasons. He won the 11-12 age group at the 2013 Callaway Junior World Championships in San Diego, then tied for 36th in the 13-14 division this July – in his first start since breaking his arm in May.
 
He's got a lot to live up to in his high school career, though. Recent Longhorn product Jordan Spieth – who will make his Ryder Cup in a few days – was one of the best nation's high school players since Tiger Woods. 
 
And the current Longhorns roster includes sophomore Beau Hossler, who led the 2012 U.S. Open before falling into a tie for 29th as a high-schooler, and who just this week helped the U.S. Team win the World Amateur Team Championship in Japan; freshman Scottie Scheffler, a three-time Texas state high school champion who tied for the 22nd in the HP Byron Nelson Championship last summer; and Taylor Funk, a 2013 Florida state high school champion who is also the son of PGA Tour and Champions Tour player Fred Funk.
 
If Nome makes it to Austin, he won't be the first Kinkaid School product to do so. Andrew Priest, a 2014 Kinkaid graduate, is a freshman on the Longhorn squad this fall. And Nome's teammate Cole Hammer, who's a year older, gave a verbal commitment to the Horns last year.
 
The No. 1-ranked Longhorns, coincidentally, are opening their 2014-15 campaign this weekend at the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields in Chicago.
 
September 13, 2014 - 4:48pm
mark.aumann's picture
Adam Scott
PGA Tour/YouTube
Adam Scott doesn't let a sprinkler head interfere with his concentration Saturday at East Lake.

I don't know what it is with Adam Scott and sprinkler heads, but he's had his share of odd run-ins with them this year.

On Saturday during the third round of the Tour Championship, Scott's ball wound up on the edge of one circling the green at East Lake's No. 14 hole. And here's what happened next:

 

 

That's a pretty impressive birdie, considering the situation.

IN THE CORNER POCKET: Rory McIlroy's errant shot finds spectator's trousers

Scott wasn't as fortunate at the PGA Championship last month. His approach shot on the sixth hole at Valhalla seemed to be heading directly for the flag when it caught a sprinkler head and ricocheted left. Scott wound up making bogey on the hole.

Click on the image to start the player:

 

 

 

September 13, 2014 - 12:15pm
andrew.prezioso's picture
Danielle Kang
Aiguille du Midi Mountain is in the French Alps, and tops out at an elevation of 12,605 feet.

Recently, we've come across some photos of recreational golfers teeing it up from some crazy places. This time, we've got ones from professional golfers. 

Danielle Kang, a member of the LPGA Tour, and Cheyenne Woods, niece of Tiger Woods who is currently on the Ladies European Tour, missed the cut at this week's Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains, France, but that doesn't mean their weekend of golf was done. On Saturday, they ventured to the top of Aiguille du Midi Mountain for some breathtaking photos. 

 

Related: Golfer hits shot from above the abyss in Norway

If they did hit a ball (we can't be sure based on the photos), how far would they hit it? Math textbook question aside, Aiguille du Midi Mountain, located in the Franch Alps, tops out at an elevation of 12,605 feet. According to her LPGA Tour bio page, Kang has an average driving distance of 254.5 yards and Woods' Ladies European Tour bio page says her average is 243.3 yards. Add in what looks like a less-than-favorable lie and the thin air and it gets way too complicated for me. Let's just call it far. 

You have to give them credit for not beeing too bundled up. According to a follow-up Instagram post by Kang, it was minus 2 degrees Celsius (28 degrees Fahrenheit) at the top of Aiguille du Midi Mountain.

Related: Iron worker poses for shot atop the Freedom Tower

While their performances at the Evian Championship may not be memorable, it sure looks like their trip to France will be.  

Cleveland RTX 2.0 wedges
Courtesy of Cleveland Golf
The blade version of the Cleveland RTX 2.0 wedges is for better players, while the cavityback version is better for players needing a bit more forgiveness.
Golf season might be starting to wind down in some parts of the country, but it's still high season in terms of golf equipment innovation. The latest example: The 2.0 editions of Cleveland's 588 RTX wedges, which hit the stores today.
 
The original version of the 588 RTX wedge was Cleveland's best-spinning wedge yet, so the designers and engineers consulted PGA Tour stars like Graeme McDowell and Keegan Bradley to pinpoint the specific challenge that players face from 125 yards and in. Their solution: two new wedges – one a traditional blade, the other with a subtle cavityback, both promising 15 percent more spin than the previous edition.
 
The cavityback head is slightly larger – and more forgiving – than the blade version, but both offer the same specs and options, including the choice between True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts and Cleveland's Rotex graphite shafts.
 
Both of the new 2.0 wedges have been upgraded from top to bottom and front to back. The upgrade begins with the fourth generation of Cleveland's "Tour Zip Grooves," which are 8 percent deeper than the third generation and have steeper sidewalls and sharper edges to channel more moisture, dirt and grass away from the face to facilitate cleaner contact.
 
The 588 RTX 2.0 wedges also boast Cleveland’s new Rotex 2.0 face technology, which generates more friction – and therefore spin – than ever before. Rotex milling creates a strategically designed roughness on the fact to improve contact from deep grass and inconsistent lies, while a separate laser milling process fine-tunes the rough texture on the face to increase spin on pitch and chip shots. 
 
 
The new wedges also come with three different grind options – low, standard and full sole – that Cleveland says will help golfers build a set of wedges perfect for their skill level and playing conditions. 
 
The Low Bounce Grind (1 Dot) – a combination of a trailing edge grind and maximum relief on the heel and toe – allows players to be aggressive from anywhere around the green. It is best, the company says, for tight lies, firm conditions and for players with a more shallow attack angle.
 
The Standard Bounce Grind (2 Dot) – a blend of a trailing edge grind and moderate relief from the heel and toe – gives players a wedge that provides forgiveness and versatility in most conditions. It is ideal, according to Cleveland, for use in a wide variety of conditions and by players with a neutral attack angle.
 
The Full Sole Grind (3 Dot) – with a consistent width across the sole – provides a slightly higher bounce, allowing players to smoothly glide through any surface with ease. It is best for softer conditions and for players with a steep attack angle.
 
The blade model comes in a satin or black satin finish, while the cavityback comes in black satin. They range from 46 to 64 degrees of loft, with most available in right- and left-handed versions. There is also a women's version of the cavityback model. They carry a suggested retail price of $129.99 per club.
 
Here's a video from Cleveland introducing the new wedges: