Golf Buzz

Phil Mickelson
Before teeing off in the final round of the Open Championship as he plays for his sixth major championship victory, Phil Mickelson made it a point to go over and sneak in a kiss with the Claret Jug for some good luck.

Phil Mickelson has a chance today to become just the third player in 30 years to win six major championships.

Before he stepped up to the first tee, Mickelson made it a point to walk over and kiss the casing that was holding the coveted Claret Jug, which he won in 2012 at Muirfield:

Looks like it worked early too. Mickelson stuffed his approach at the first hole to within 3 feet of the hole to set up a birdie to snag the lead by one at 12 under after a Henrik Stenson bogey.

That's not the first symbolic nod -- if you want to call it that -- that Mickelson has made for "luck" in a major. On the 18th hole in the final round of the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol, Mickelson hit his tee shot near a plaque commemorating Jack Nicklaus's famous one-iron to 22 feet in 1967 setting up a U.S. Open win.

Before hitting his approach, Mickelson tapped the plaque with his club for good luck.

Moments later, he captured his second major win.  

July 17, 2016 - 7:51am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jamie Donaldson
Playing-wise, Jamie Donaldson wasn't exactly having a career day at Royal Troon on Sunday. Rather than get mad, he got silly.

If you're going to play golf at the highest level, it sure makes things easier if you have a sense of humor.

Welshman Jamie Donaldson -- who clinched the winning Ryder Cup point for Europe in 2014 -- did just that in the final round of the Open Championship at Royal Troon on Sunday when things just weren't going his way on the par-4 12th hole.

After hitting his shot into some nasty gorse bush, Donaldson went in looking for it. And while he was doing that, he hammed it up for the cameras:

Going for a swim in the gorse? Love it.

Donaldson would go on to make a quadruple-bogey 8 on the hole to fall to 7 over for the day. 

July 17, 2016 - 6:28am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Andrew Johnston
USA Today Sports Images
Believe it or not, there was a time not long ago when Andrew "Beef" Johnston didn't have that distinctive beard.

Englishman Andrew Johnston -- better known as "Beef" -- has quickly become a golf cult hero.

If there's anyone having more fun on and off the course than Beef these days, we don't know who it is. He'll enter Sunday's final round of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon alone in fourth place at 5 under, seven behind leader Henrik Stenson.

Beef is most well known for a certain distinctive feature -- that crazy beard.

He's also becoming well known for his high-caliber play, which won him the Open de Espana earlier this season on the European Tour and earned him a spot in both the U.S. Open (T54) and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (T42).

RELATED: Johnston's niece critiques his beard | Johnston moves into top 5 after hole-out

Can you even imagine the party Beef and friends will have should he somehow come from behind to win the game's oldest major?

We're talking about the same guy who went viral on the internet when he said this after winning in Spain in April:



And, as this video shows, he's a man of his word:



Beef took some heat for the "get hammered" quote. Is it the most responsible thing to say? Probably not. But can't you cut a 27-year-old who just had the biggest sporting moment of his life a little slack?

This is a guy who takes his nickname seriously. You can find all kinds of "beef" emblazoned on his wedges:



And how did he get that nickname?

Golf Channel's Will Gray uncovered that answer in this terrific profile:

Ironically enough, the Beef nickname has nothing to do with eating. When he was growing up, one of his friends noted that his bushy mane of hair resembled a slab of meat, and he started calling him “beef head.” The nickname stuck, and now it’s permanently emblazoned on Johnston’s left shoulder – the product of a few too many pints one night as a 16-year-old.

That said, he can eat beef quite well too, evidenced by what he did to this 32-ounce, Kobe tomahawk steak recently in Akron:



Back to that beard, which Beef has been growing since last September.

According to Gray's piece, Beef had every intention of shaving it off following his win in Spain. That's until he read some social media comments like this one: "Your beard is bad for the game of golf."

Beef told Gray he decided in that moment, "Well I’m just going to keep it now."

The look may not be everyone's cup of tea, but how can you knock a guy for being comfortable in his own skin and having a distinctive look?

Keep doing you, Beef. 

July 16, 2016 - 12:42pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
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andrew johnston, beef johnston, open championship
Twitter / TheOpen
Andrew "Beef" Johnston is a lot of fun off the course, but it's time to start taking him seriously on the course with his play at the Open.

Just hours after posting the greatest Instagram video in the history of the app, Andrew "Beef" Johnston found himself in contention at the Open Championship.

It doesn't take a lot to make Beef smile, but holing out from off the green on the 13th hole to move into the top five at a major championship will certainly do it.



While Johnston usually grabs headlines for his facial hair and selection of cuisine, it's time to start paying attention to his golf game.


July 16, 2016 - 12:15pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy wasn't pleased with his second shot at the par-5 16th hole in the third round of the 145th Open Championship and proceeded to toss his club in frustration.

Like a lot of players this week, Rory McIlroy was on the wrong end of the draw at Royal Troon in the 145th Open Championship. But, just as you'd expect, he's been grinding away nonetheless.

After a while though, frustration can set in. That's what happened with McIlroy after he sailed his second shot way right at the par-5 16th hole on Saturday in the third round.

As you can see, Protracer picked up the shot. And then, we got to see Rory's disgusted club toss:



Not bad. But still nothing compared to Rory's club toss at Doral in 2015:



By the way, McIlroy did make par at the 16th hole and was even par for the tournament. 

July 16, 2016 - 12:10pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
Bill Haas, postage stamp, royal troon, open championship
Twitter / TheOpen
Bill Haas is taking advantage of moving day, staying near the top of the leaderboard with shots like this hole out from the bunker at the famous "postage stamp" hole.

It's moving day at the Open Championship, and Bill Haas is moving.

The famous "postage stamp" eighth hole at Royal Troon is set up as only 100 yards today, but is playing as one of the toughest holes on the entire course. The front bunker is swallowing up almost every ball that dares to challenge the flag, and has proven to not allow many easy up-and-downs.

However, it was no problem for Haas. He continued his strong day with an unlikely birdie from the front bunker.




Haas has never placed even in the top 10 of a major before. Is this his week?