Golf Buzz

March 14, 2013 - 12:32pm
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John Holmes
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PGA Tour Latinoamerica

The second season of the PGA Tour Latinoamerica got under way today at the first round of the Mexico Open.

The South of the Border circuit played 11 events in 2012, but has 15 on the docket this season. The campaign is broken into two halves, with eight tournaments between March and June in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, followed by the seven final events between October and December in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

The events feature $150,000 purses, but there is more at stake for those who perform well. Several players excelling in the first half will gain access to this summer’s PGA Tour Canada, and the top five players on the season-ending Latinoamerica money list will earn spots on the 2014 Web.com Tour.

Having a chance to climb the ladder is why many of the players are participating.

"For the Latin American golfer, (the difference) with this tour is day and night," Alan Wagner of Argentina told PGATour.com. "Up until last year, we would play the Tour de las Americas and those players that would win or play well wouldn’t receive a reward for their play – you would gain access to the second stage of Q-School.

"But now you know that if you play well, you’ll be competing on the Web.com Tour the following year," he explained. "As this tour grows and consolidates, in a few years we will see many more Latinos playing on the Web.com and eventually on the PGA Tour, so it is very good for Latin American golf."

For more on the 2013 PGA Tour Latinoamerica, click here.

March 14, 2013 - 9:49am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods, Nike Golf
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In the latest Nike Golf commercial, Tiger Woods plays a salesman at a Dick's Sporting Goods -- and himself.

 

 
In the new spot, a hacker is at a Dick's Sporting Goods store asking the salesman (Tiger Woods), if the Nike VRS Covert driver he's looking at is the one the pros are playing.
 
The hacker isn't convinced it's the driver he's looking for, so the salesman (again, Woods), says, "Let me go get some help."
 
A second later, Tiger Woods, dressed in his Sunday red, appears. 
 
Needless to say, it's the right driver.
 
When the salesman returns, the hacker asks, "Did you know Tiger Woods was just here?"
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 14, 2013 - 9:10am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Speed Golf World Championships coming to CBS in April
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World-record holding Speed Golf champion Christopher Smith amazingly broke 70 in just 54 minutes.

 

When it comes to golf and television network CBS in the month of April, all we think of his Jim Nantz and his famous, "A tradition unlike any other, the Masters on CBS."
 
Well, the Speed Golf World Championship may not be a tradition unlike any other, but it's golf in April and it's on CBS.
 
Airing on April 13 (Masters Sunday), CBS will show the Speed Golf World Championship.
 
 
For those not familiar with the sport, speed golf combines your normal golf score with the amount of time that it takes you to finish the round. For example, if you shoot 85 in 75 minutes, your speed golf score would be 160.
 
The rules of speed golf are basically the same as regular golf except you are allowed to putt with the flagstick in the hole to save time, and lost balls or out-of-bounds balls are treated more or less as lateral hazards.
 
Believe it or not, world-record holding Speed Golf champion Christopher Smith -- featured in the video link below -- broke 70 in just 54 minutes in Bandon Dunes, Oregon! That's how long it takes to play three holes on the PGA Tour sometimes!
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 13, 2013 - 2:34pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Ivanka Trump
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Ivanka Trump, daughter of Donald Trump, was never in real danger when her stalker was arrested in Doral on Sunday.

 

John Eugene Enabnit, 32, was arrested at a hotel in Doral, Fla., on Sunday after following Ivanka Trump there.
 
Ivanka, the 31-year-old daughter of Donald Trump, was at Doral to represent her family this past weekend at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship won by Tiger Woods.
 
The Trumps purchased Doral in 2012.
 
Enabnit has long had an obsession with Ivanka Trump and was arrested in February for alleged harassment at Ivanka's perfume launch in New York.
 
Enabnit was spotted at Doral on Saturday and then arrested on Sunday.
 
 
“Enabnit freely told our detectives that he was at the golf course trying to contact Ivanka Trump,” Doral police chief Richard Blom told El Nuevo Herald.
 
“After the arrest, we contacted [the] New York District Attorney’s Office to inform them of the incident because the man had violated a restraining order.”
 
Enabnit was spotted by a detective on Saturday, leading to his arrest a day later.
 
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
March 13, 2013 - 11:47am
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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Marc Rzepczynski
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Cardinals reliever Marc Rzepczynski was injured recently while attempting to hit a golf shot from some trees. The left-hander was struck in the eye and missed an outing against the Marlins.

Golf has long been the go-to sport for baseball pitchers during the off-season and during times when they aren’t scheduled to throw. Hall of Famer Don Sutton became quite a good player, and John Smoltz even tried his hand at playing professionally.

But there are risks, as St. Louis Cardinals reliever Marc Rzepczynski discovered last week when he attempted to hit a punch shot from the trees on the first hole of what was supposed to be a leisurely round. Rzepcznski hit the shot and fell to the ground after something struck his eye.

Bruised and temporarily blinded, Rzepcznski sat out for three days before returning to training camp on Monday for evaluation. Whether it was the ball that struck him or debris from the shot is uncertain, but as Rzepcynski told The St. Louis Post Dispatch, “It’s a freak, freak, freak thing. It's a one-in-a-billion-type of thing that happened.” 

Rzepczynski missed a scheduled date to pitch against the Marlins last Saturday. Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak told reporters that the team will continue to monitor the situation with the hopes that the injury is not serious. 

March 13, 2013 - 11:36am
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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Natalie Gulbis
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In a written statement on Wednesday, Natalie Gulbis confirmed that she does, indeed, have malaria. The disease, contracted during the LPGA Tour's Asian swing, forced Gulbis to withdraw from two events.

Despite earlier denials, Natalie Gulbis’ agent confirmed on Wednesday that the LPGA star does, indeed, have malaria. Gulbis withdrew from the RR Donnelley Founders Cup event in Phoenix and a statement was released shortly thereafter.

It is believed she contracted the disease in Singapore during the LPGA’s Asian swing. She withdrew from the HSBC Women's Champions with what were, at the time, described as “flu-like symptoms.” At the time her spokespeople made it abundantly clear that there was no diagnosis of malaria.

That has changed. According to today’s statement, Gulbis is "expected to be at full strength in three weeks. LPGA doctors have been consulted and believe she is on appropriate medications, under great care, and her prognosis is excellent."

At the tournament site, Scottsdale Healthcare will be providing blood screenings for any players wishing to be tested. 

This has the potential to put a black eye on the LPGA’s recent expansion into foreign markets such as Thailand and Singapore as well as the non-sanctioned events in China and elsewhere. Malaria kills over 650,000 people annually according to the World Health Organization. Most of those deaths are children from poor countries.

And while American healthcare facilities are equipped to treat the disease, it is no small matter. According to the CDC, malaria must be aggressively treated and, even in the U.S., is potentially fatal.