Golf Buzz

Rory McIlroy
European Tour via YouTube
Rory McIlroy's walk-off bunker birdie kept him close to Danny Willett in the seasonlong Race to Dubai title.
This week is a big one for Rory McIlroy. He's running neck-and-neck with England's Danny Willett for the top spot in the Race to Dubai – essentially the European Tour's version of the FedExCup – and this week's season-ending DP World Tour Championship will decide the title.
McIlroy was chugging through a so-so-round today, and dumped his third shot on the par-5 closing hole into a deep bunker just off the front right of the green. His lie was flat, which was good, but the bunker's face rose straight up about three feet in front of him, which was bad. 
Also bad: The green sloped sharply down, meaning that stopping the ball close to the hole would be difficult. But good: At least he had a fair amount of green to work with.
He blasted up and out, and his ball landed pretty softly up on the slope. It settled down quickly, then ran down the slope – and dropped in the front left part of the cup for a birdie.
That walk-off bunker birdie gave him a 4-under 68 – and left him tied with Willett after the first round. They're two shots off the lead heading into Friday's second round.
Here's Rory's bunker blast:
November 18, 2015 - 11:48am
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November 16, 2015 - 11:25am
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Graeme McDowell
PGA Tour/Twitter
Graeme McDowell picked the perfect time to hit a perfect 5-iron.

Graeme McDowell hadn't won on the PGA Tour in two seasons, but he raised the trophy in celebration Monday morning after this clutch approach shot on the first playoff hole at the OHL Classic.

This 5-iron is a beauty, particularly under the circumstances and conditions. If you're going to hit the shot of the tournament, do it when it counts.




McDowell sank the three-footer with authority and walked off the winner over Russell Knox and Jason Bohn.

November 16, 2015 - 9:39am
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Harold Varner III
PGA Tour/Twitter
PGA Tour rookie Harold Varner III almost can't believe that birdie putt went in the hole.

Harold Varner III made birdie at the 14th hole Monday morning in the final round of the OHL Classic.

So what, right? But that really doesn't describe how great this putt was. Not only was it from 70 feet away, but he did it with the wind whipping and in a driving rainstorm, on the most difficult hole on the course.



That's an impressive putt on a normal day, let alone in the conditions the players are facing in Mayakoba right now.



November 15, 2015 - 3:51pm
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Melissa Blanton
Melissa.Blanton's picture
PGA Tour/YouTube
Jason Bohn reacts as his ball hits the flagstick.

Jason Bohn was cruising through the final round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

So why wouldn't he expect to hit it close when he stepped up to the tee on the 151-yeard par 3 8th hole?

Turns out it his distance was perfect. As in hit-the-flagstick perfect.



At the time Bohn had a share of the lead at 17-under, tied with Russell Knox.

His putt for birdie was delayed by four hours after rain forced players off the course, but he drained it once play resumed at 4:45 p.m. ET.

It wasn't the only replay-worthy shot from Bohn Sunday.

He hit his second shot a few yards shy of the green on the par-5 fifth hole.

Then he let his wedge play did the talking.


And those are the shots we'll never get tired of watching.


Stephen Gostkowski
USA Today Sports Images
"In golf and in field-goal kicking, most of the times I screw up is when I try to hit the ball too hard," said New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
Last week, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady compared swinging a golf club to throwing passes. This week, his placekicker, Stephen Gostkowski, picked up the thread.
Gostkowski, the Patriots' all-time leading scorer and one of the National Football League's most productive kickers in recent years, hopped on Sirius XM's PGA Tour Radio channel and said that he too finds a lot of similarities between his chosen profession and his favorite avocation.
"A lot of it has to do with tempo and rhythm as far as the swing of the club and the swing of your leg," he told Mark Carnevale. "In golf and in field-goal kicking, most of the times I screw up is when I try to hit the ball too hard."
The secrets to success in both endeavors, he explained, are confidence and consistency.
"Once you get to where you can repeat the swing and have the confidence that you know the ball is going to go where you're aiming and where you're wanting to hit it, it gets a lot easier," said Gostkowski, an avid golfer in the offseason. "… The times where I’ve gotten on a roll in golf and done well, for my game, the more confidence I have, the better swing I put on the ball. If I can see the shot before I hit it, it does a lot of good."
If you'd like to hear Gostkowski talk golf, you can do that right here: