Golf Buzz

November 19, 2013 - 6:13pm
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John Holmes
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Bobby Clampett
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Bobby Clampett, 53, has become the third PGA Professional to graduate from the new PGA Master Professional Program 2.0 – the highest educational designation a PGA member can attain.

Most of us know Bobby Clampett for his 15 years on the PGA Tour player and, more recently, a couple years on the Champions Tour, along with his work as a golf analyst for CBS, TNT and the Golf Channel. Now, though, he's added a new achievement: He's a PGA Master Professional in Teaching and Coaching.

Clampett, 53, has become the third PGA Professional to graduate from the new PGA Master Professional Program 2.0 – the highest educational designation a PGA member can attain.

"It is a distinct honor, as a member of the PGA Tour, to receive the PGA Master Professional designation, particularly since instruction is so close to my heart," said Clampett, who lives in Bonita Springs, Fla. "This also is a significant milestone for me, one that commemorates my development of Impact-Based teaching, as presented in my book, 'The Impact Zone,' and my new video series, 'The Impact-Zone Training System, ' which started me on the path to completing the PGA Master Professional program. 

''My primary goal is for all golfers to understand how to improve faster and easier and enjoy the game more."

TIP OF THE DAY: PGA's Ron Philo Jr. on how to hit a bunker shot from an uneven lie

The PGA Master Professional Program is available to PGA Professionals who have earned advanced certification through the PGA Certified Professional Program, which was launched in 2004. After a PGA member obtains PGA Certified Professional status, he or she is eligible to work toward a Master Professional designation by preparing a special project approved by a panel of examiners from the PGA Education Department. The applicant then presents the project to a panel and defends his or her methodology.

The curriculum is comprised of an extensive project based on the specific certification that the PGA member has acquired. The project includes a detailed demonstration overseen and evaluated by PGA Master Professionals, PGA Subject Matter Experts and professional testing consultants. A PGA member becomes a Master Professional upon approval of the project and successful completion of a presentation (which includes a Live Lesson for the Teaching & Coaching Certification).

The program requires a minimum of eight years of PGA membership in order to be eligible to earn PGA Master Professional status.

 

November 19, 2013 - 11:42am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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In today's golf tip, PGA Professional Ron Philo, Jr., talks about how get the best result from a shot out of an uneven bunker lie. Philo demonstrates how he goes about finding a stable position to swing from, setting up the stance, choking up on the club and making the proper swing.

November 19, 2013 - 11:25am
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T.J. Auclair
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Chi Chi Rodriguez
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Chi Chi Rodriguez performs his famous air sword fight.

If you've seen Golf Channel's show "Big Break" then you're familiar with the glass break challenge, where contestants attempt to fire a low, stinger through something resembling a window pane.

Puerto Rican golf star Chi Chi Rodriguez made a guest appearance on "Big Break NFL Puerto Rico" (the episode airs tonight) and decided to try out the challenge for himself. This is cutting room floor material you have to see to believe.

READ: New visual evidence rules in golf

When Rodriguez attempts the glass break challenge, it backfires in a big and uncomfortable way. See for yourself in the video below.

Ouch! But, pro that he is, Chi Chi responded by breaking the glass on the next swing and then giving us all the famous air sword fight.

Well done.

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

November 19, 2013 - 10:49am
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T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
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A rule that cost Tiger Woods a two-shot penalty in September, will not be cause for a penalty beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

The USGA and the R&A released a statement today concerning their ongoing review of the use of video and other visual evidence in administering the Rules of Golf.

The new rule, called Decision 18/4, will take effect Jan. 1, 2014 and significantly reduces the chance of a "call-in" of rules infractions.

Most recently -- and perhaps most famously -- Tiger Woods was handed a two-shot penalty at the BMW Championship in September when his ball moved as he attempted to remove a loose impediment. Woods maintained that the ball oscillated, but didn't change position. An HD video replay showed otherwise resulting in the two-shot penalty.

RELATED: Henrik Stenson pulls off historic double

Under the new rule, if a player doesn't see the ball move with the naked eye -- regardless of video evidence -- the player will not be penalized.

The statement reads in part:

New Decision 18/4 will provide that, where enhanced technological evidence shows that a ball has left its position and come to rest in another location, the ball will not be deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time. The Decision ensures that a player is not penalized under Rule 18-2 in circumstances where the fact that the ball had changed location could not reasonably have been seen without the use of enhanced technology.

Beyond these Decisions, as part of the 2016 Rules review, the Rules of Golf Committees will be discussing other issues concerning the possible effect of video technology on the application of the Rules to the playing of the game, such as the necessary degree of precision in marking, lifting and replacing a ball, the estimation of a reference point for taking relief, and the overall question of the appropriate penalty for returning an incorrect score card where the player was unaware that a penalty had been incurred. As is true of the rules in many other televised sports, adapting to developments in technology and video evidence is an important ongoing topic in making and applying the Rules of Golf.

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

November 18, 2013 - 2:36pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Peter Uihlein
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Peter Uihlein began 2013 on the second-tier Challenge Tour and ended it in the top 15 on the Race to Dubai.

Peter Uihlein has been named the winner of the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award, European Tour officials have announced. Uihlein, 24, won the Madeira Islands Open and finished 14th in The Race to Dubai.

Uihlein – the son of Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, the parent company of Titleist and FootJoy – is the first American player to win rookie of the year honors, and follows in the footsteps of such standouts as Nick Faldo (1977), Sandy Lyle (1978), José María Olazábal (1986), Colin Montgomerie (1988), Sergio Garcia (1999), Ian Poulter (2000), Martin Kaymer (2007) and Matteo Manassero (2010).

''It's an honor to win the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award,'' said Uihlein, who was the world's top-ranked amateur in 2010. ''I wasn't expecting it, but it's been a great year and I'm very pleased. I think I'm the first non-European to win it, so that's a great honor. Any time you're the first of anything, it's neat.''

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: European Tour unveils 48-event 2013-14 schedule

Having turned professional in December 2011 after a glittering amateur career at Oklahoma State in which he won the 2010 U.S. Amateur, Uihlein secured a 2013 European Challenge Tour card and received several invitations into European Tour events. He earned top-10 finishes in the Tshwane Open and the Spanish Open early in the year.

His season-changing victory came in May, when he earned full European Tour playing rights. He then tied for 10th in both the BMW International Open and Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, and finished second at the ISPS Handa Wales Open. He came within a whisker of recording the first 59 in European Tour history at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship before losing to David Howell in a sudden-death playoff. 

''We heartily congratulate Peter on an outstanding season, during which he has thrilled golf fans and challenged for several titles. He is a worthy winner of the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year,'' said European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady. ''Peter enjoyed a wonderful career as an amateur and it is so pleasing to see him fulfilling his potential at the game's highest level. We wish him every success for the future.''

The European Tour contributed to this report.

 
November 18, 2013 - 9:50am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Henrik Stenson
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With Sunday's win in the DP World Tour Championship Dubai, Henrik Stenson became the first golfer to win both the PGA Tour's FedExCup Playoffs and the European Tour's Race to Dubai in the same season.

Typically, we lead with PGA Tour news to start off the weekend recap, but in this case, we're forced to make a special exception, seeing as Henrik Stenson accomplished something that's never before been done.

The 37-year-old Swede romped to an impressive six-shot victory in the DP World Tour Championship Dubai on Sunday, becoming the first golfer to win both the PGA Tour's FedExCup Playoffs and the European Tour's Race to Dubai in the same season.

READ: Jason Day loses eight relatives in Typhoon Haiyan

As if that wasn't special enough, Stenson finished it all off in style too, with a tap-in eagle on the 72nd hole at Jumeirah Golf Estates, thanks to an incredible second shot into the par-5 closing hole for an 8-under 64. That score was two shots better than Ian Poulter -- the runner up -- who had the next-best score on Sunday.

"To achieve the double-double if you liken winning the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai on top of winning the PGA Tour Championship to capture the FedExCup takes some beating, I guess," Stenson said.

"I am just very, very pleased with the way I played," he sadded. "I knew it was going to be a tough week as I knew the guys like Justin (Rose) and Ian (Poulter) would come charging at me and try to catch me."

There's little rest for the European Tour. While the 2013 season ended on Sunday, the 2014 season begins Nov. 21 with the South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni.

And now, on to more golf...

AUSTRALASIAN TOUR: The victory parade -- incredibly -- marches on for 2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott. The 33-year-old made it two wins in two weeks in his homeland of Australia, capturing the Talisker Masters on Sunday, winning by two shots over Matt Kuchar at Royal Melbourne.

GOLF BUZZ: PGA Champion Jason Dufner honored at halftime of Georgia-Auburn game

It was a successful title defense for Scott, who also won the tournament in 2012. Two weeks ago, Scott won the Australian PGA Championship.

Scott, the No. 2-ranked player in the world and the first Aussie to win the Masters, is hoping to join countryman Robert Allenby (2005) to pull off Australia's Triple Crown with a win at the Emirates Australian Open, beginning Nov. 28.

For now though, Scott's focus will again be on Royal Melbourne this week, where he teams up with Jason Day in the World Cup of Golf.

PGA TOUR: Thanks to a 6-under 65 in Sunday's final round at El Camaleon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Harris English picked off his second career PGA Tour win with a four-stroke triumph over Brian Stuard in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

English's last win came in June at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis.

MORE: Final OHL Classic leaderboard | Final recap | English's winning clubs

English told reporters he was much more comfortable on Sunday in Mexico than he was in the final round in Memphis.

"I guess I found something in my swing -- a little swing key that helping me out," English said. "I hit the ball really well all week. It got a little windy the first two days and I struggled a bit with my driver, but I found it down the stretch."

The 2014 PGA Tour season resumes on Jan. 3 with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.

LPGA TOUR: Lexi Thompson is a winner on the LPGA Tour for the third time in her career and the second time in her last four starts.

On Sunday, the 18-year-old Thompson held on for a one-shot victory over Stacy Lewis in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

The LPGA wraps up its season with the CME Group Titleholders, beginning Nov. 21.

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