Golf Buzz

December 13, 2014 - 5:31pm
mark.aumann's picture
Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter ends up in a heap Saturday after getting a forceful high-five from teammate Billy Horschel.

What happens when you pair two of the most emotional players on the PGA Tour together? You get an adventuresome round worthy of any Florida amusement park.

SHARK ATTRACTANT: Norman offers putting tips after seeing Poulter on TV

Consider the Saturday round shared by Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel at the Franklin Templeton Shootout, particularly the back nine. On the par-4 12th, Poulter found himself in the sand, about 12 yards from the pin. And watch what happens next:




Nothing like a high-five that lays you low.

MISSED CONNECTION: Bradley, Mickelson whiff on high-five at Ryder Cup

Later on, Poulter and Horschel wound up asking the Fox broadcast crew to disassemble a camera that was blocking Poulter's shot. Horschel then made a clutch 24-footer at the 17th to keep them in contention. Watch:



Poulter then finished off his sand 'n surf day by chipping out of the muck surrounding the lake on the 18th hole, making a huge splash of water worthy of any Wet 'N Wild guest.

PANTS ON THE GROUND: Andreas Harto undresses on the course

They didn't win, finishing tied for third, three shots behind Jason Day and Cameron Tringale. But they sure had fun, as evidenced by this post-round tweet:

Side note: Based on that Seminoles logo, it looks like Horschel lost a bet on this year's Florida-Florida State football game, because he's orange-and-blue through and through.


December 12, 2014 - 1:12pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Samuel Eaves, an Aussie golfer, had his ball stolen from the middle of a fairway on Friday during the Australian PGA Championship.

The Australian PGA Championship is taking place this week at RACV Royal Pines Resort in Gold Coast, Australia.

RELATED: There were lots of animal encounters on the course in 2014

That's where Samuel Eaves, an Aussie golfer, had his ball stolen from the middle of a fairway on Friday...

Not by a fan, or a marshal, but by a bird.

Check it out:

Eaves was allowed to replace the ball, without penalty, from the spot where the bird took off with it.

December 12, 2014 - 12:04pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Rory McIlroy
USA Today Sports Images
The 2014 PGA Championship had it all. And, in the end, the No. 1 player in the world rose to the top.

OK, I fully admit that when creating a "top-list" of anything, it's going to be completely subjective. That's just the way it is.

When I think of a "top tournament" it doesn't necessarily have to be a major championship. Of course, those are "next level" great, but in terms of "top tournaments" of the year, I'm leaning and thinking more toward the ones that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Whether it was a train wreck avoided, a dramatic final shot, or an insane leaderboard... that was my criteria.

Now that I have that admission out there, here are the five tournaments that stood out to me most in 2014. 

5. The Honda Classic
Russell Henley was the eventual winner of this event at PGA National that it seemed down the stretch no one wanted to win.

2014 BEST OF: Top shots | Biggest surprises | Duffs, mishits | Instagram | Facebook

In a three-way tie for the lead on the final hole par 5, Henley was left of the green in two shots. He chunked a chip so poorly from that position, it barely got halfway to the hole and he proceeded to two-putt for par.

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, had let a two-shot lead slip away. He hit an incredible 236-yard, 5-wood approach to the 18th that set up an eagle putt for the win. The putt just missed and McIlroy settled for par.

Russell Knox and Ryan Palmer joined Henley and McIlroy in a four-way playoff, which Henley won with a two-putt birdie on No. 18 -- the first hole of the playoff.


4. RBC Heritage
Two weeks removed from a heartbreaking defeat in the Houston Open where he squandered a four-shot, final-round lead and lost in a playoff when Aussie Matt Jones pitched in for an eagle, the Golf Gods rewarded Matt Kuchar with a stunning finish of his own.

Kuchar, tied for the lead playing the iconic final hole at Harbor Town, found himself in a greenside bunker with his approach shot.

Instead of thinking, "get up and down for a playoff," Kuchar did one better, admitting afterward, "I told my caddie before that last shot, 'I'm about due to make one of these.'"

So, that's precisely what he did. Kuchar holed the bunker shot for birdie and a one-stroke victory over Luke Donald.


3. The Players Championship
Any tournament with a final top-10 leaderboard that includes the names Martin Kaymer, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy is a great one.

That's what happened at TPC Sawgrass in May. Kaymer came out on top dodging two late bullets.

He had a four-shot advantage through 11 holes that slipped away. Kaymer returned from a 90-minute weather delay and promptly made double bogey on the 15th hole to cut his lead to one shot with three to play.

Then, he made a long par putt at the famous island-green, par-3 17th to maintain a one-shot lead going to the final hole. Kaymer would par the last hole in the dark to win his first Players Championship by one over Furyk.


2. WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
This tournament will long be remembered more for the guy who finished second (Victor Dubuisson) than the guy who won (Jason Day).

In this incredible tussle, Day finally came out on top after 23 holes to the little-known Frenchman, who became world famous in golf that day.

Though he lost, Dubuisson converted two of the greatest pars you will ever see to keep the playoff alive, getting up and down on consecutive holes from the desert. It was remarkable stuff (and made it on our "Top shots" list).

Even before the playoff Dubuisson was spectacular. He was two down with two to play and knotted the match to force the playoff.


1. PGA Championship
This was the tournament of the year and it's not even a contest. How about these names, who all finished inside the top 10?: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Ernie Els, Victor Dubuisson and Hunter Mahan.

That's a murderer's row of the game's all stars.

In the end, McIlroy dramatically claimed his second major in a row, second PGA Championship of his career and fourth major overall.

McIlroy lost the lead on the front nine, but eagled the 10th hole to begin his late charge. At one point on the back nine, five players shared the lead at 10 under. The scoring average for the final round was 69.6, the lowest in PGA Championship history.

This was an awesome back-and-forth with the world's No. 1 player rising to the occasion.


Getty Images
Jack Nicklaus' grandson, Nick O'Leary, plays tight end for Florida State.

The Nicklaus family just keeps on piling up the awards. 

The latest comes via Jack Nicklaus' grandson, Nick O'Leary, who was named the winner of the Mackey Award for top tight end in college football. O'Leary, who starts for the undefeated and defending national champion Florida State Seminoles, has 47 catches this year for 614 yards and seven touchdowns. 

On Thursday, the Instagram account for Nicklaus posted this picture of the Golden Bear with his wife, Barbara, and O'Leary from after the season-opening game against Oklahoma State. 



A photo posted by Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) on


Florida State plays in the inaugural College Football Playoffs when it takes on Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Imagine there is a good chance Nicklaus will be there, seeing as how he made the trip out to Pasadena, California, last year to watch O'Leary in the title game

The Nicklaus family gets another shot to add to its already-impressive legacy this weekend. Jack and his son, Jack II, are taking part in the PNC Father Son Challenge, which starts on Friday at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando.

December 12, 2014 - 9:28am
andrew.prezioso's picture
Dancing kid
PGA Tour on YouTube
This kid's reaction to getting a ball from Rory McIlroy was one of your favorite Facebook posts.

We've seen a lot of cool stuff that we'll remember for a long time, but what has been our readers' favorites on our Facebook page? We pulled the numbers and here are the 10 stories you interacted with the most via likes, comments and shares.

It's pretty clear that based on this list, there was one golfer in particular that you liked to read or watch the most. (Hint: It was not Tiger) But what were his top moments?

Related: Best of Instagram | Best of Twitter

Here's the countdown of our top Facebook posts. 

Like on Facebook 

10. Just a friendly reminder

The first round of the PGA Championship was played on Aug. 7. You could say people were excited for it. 


9. We're not a doctor, but we watch one on TV

Late in the second round of the PGA Championship, Kevin Chappell needed some work done on his back. 




8. Keegan and MJ

Michael Jordan showed up to the Ryder Cup in typical MJ fashion. 


7. Rory proves he's really, really good at golf

Sure this may not have been the way it was drawn up, but it was still impressive. 


6. Dance on, young fella

This is the only logical way to celebrate getting a ball from Rory McIlroy. 




5. Not one, not two, not three... but 55

This may have only come on a practice green but it is an impressive display by Rory. 


4. You can't change a tiger's stripes. But you can make a Tiger out of swooshes. 

Tiger Woods was bound to appear on this list eventually. He does so in a creative way. 


3. Rory with another great shot

This was just another example of a nice shot by Rory in a year filled with them. 


2. Again, Rory is really, really good

Just in case you needed further proof that the year belonged to Rory. 



1. Who said a 3-foot putt is a gimme? 

This story was everywhere this year. It was featured on the list of most engaging tweets, and also on the most read stories list. It's certainly well deserved of its spot. 




December 11, 2014 - 1:47pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach Live Cam
You can see the downed cypress tree in the top left corner of this photo, a screenshot taken during the storm from Pebble Beach's Live Cam looking down the 18th fairway found by's John Strege.

It hasn't been a good year for iconic golf trees.

Back in February, Augusta National lost the famous Eisenhower Tree just to the left of the 17th fairway in an ice storm.

In October, TPC Sawgrass lost its most famous tree -- a live oak by the sixth tee.

On Thursday, strong winds toppled one of the two cypress trees in the fairway landing area on Pebble Beach's 18th hole. writer John Strege got details from Ron Read, a long-time USGA official who lives in the area:

"I was standing on the 18th tee and conservatively the wind was blowing at least 40 miles an hour," Read told Strege.

Strege wrote that, "Read said he returned to the tee later in the morning and took a picture looking down the fairway and did not notice the downed tree until examining the photo later."

"I was just talking to Robert Trent Jones [Jr.] and said this reminds of 1967," Read said. "I was a marshal on the sixth green at Pebble Beach [for the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am]. This was very similar to that. I remember Jack Nicklaus said he hit a 3-iron on the seventh hole. That’s what it reminded me of."

The two cypress trees -- now down to one -- were planted there in 2004 to replace two diseased pine trees, according to Strege's report.