Golf Buzz

February 14, 2013 - 7:18pm
Posted by:
Steve Eubanks
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Trevor Immelman
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The 1998 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, Trevor Immelman, was surprised by the USGA's decision to end the almost century-old event. Like all past champions, Immelman has fond memories of the tournament.

The USGA’s recent announcement that one of its oldest championships, the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, would be eliminated after 2014 caught a lot of people off guard, including some of the event’s most prominent past champions.

“I must say I was definitely caught by surprise,” said Trevor Immelman, who won the Pub Links at Torrey Pines in 1998.“ After reading through the release I understand what they’re saying. Back in the day, the Pub Links was for people who were not members of the USGA because only members of the USGA were allowed to enter the U.S. Amateur. Now that all those rules have changed and anyone can enter the U.S. Amateur and compete, there really is no need for the Pub Links. But, man, there is such a great history behind that tournament.”

Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Moore, Billy Mayfair, Tim Clark and D.J. Trahan all won the Pub Links, but the event also showcased such colorful champions as Omer Bogen and Smiley Quick. Reactions have varied, but all living champions are wistful that an event dating back to 1922 is being kicked to the curb.

“I’m sure they have their reasons,” Immelman said. “Maybe the casual observer doesn’t realize how many tournaments they put on between the men’s and women’s Amateurs, the U.S. Junior, the Mid-Amateurs, it is quite a busy schedule, so I guess they’re trying to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of so they can grow. That’s the tricky part. Change is difficult for everybody. [The Pub Links] is almost 100 years, so that part of it is tricky, because people obviously have an emotional attachment to it.”

For years the Pub Links has not only allowed public course golfers their own championship, it has given top-flight amateurs another avenue to earn an invitation to the Masters. That is how Immelman made his first trip to Augusta National in 1999.
 
“It was always a goal of mine to play in the Masters as an amateur,” he said. “I lost in the finals of the British Amateur the year before, which was devastating, but [the Pub Links] provided me with another avenue to earn an invitation.”
 
Now that avenue will be gone.
 
“Augusta National has the tournament in Asia [the Asia Pacific Amateur] now, so there’s another chance for an amateur to play in the Masters,” Immelman said. “It’s the USGA’s call. Like I say, I was surprised when I heard about it, but it’s one of those things.”  
  
 
February 14, 2013 - 6:21pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Ian Poulter and Paul McGinley
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Ian Poulter gives a thumbs-up to the selection of Paul McGinley as 2014 European Ryder Cup captain.

The 2014 Ryder Cup is still a good year and a half away, but it's already front of mind for Europe's hero of the 2012 match, Ian Poulter.

Poulter has written a column for the April edition of the British golf magazine Golf World in which he says that unheralded European Captain Paul McGinley will have an advantage over U.S Captain Tom Watson.

"In many ways he will know his players better than Tom will know his, if for no other reason than he is a lot younger and so much closer to them in terms of playing," Poulter wrote about McGinley, as quoted by Reuters. "That may prove a big advantage. He will know what makes us tick and what we like – that's healthy.

"Tom, because of his age, will inevitably be slightly more detached from his team," Poulter added. "He won't have played as much with the current crop of players."

Having said that, however, Poulter bows to the stature Watson has achieved through almost half a century of excellence.

"Paul may have only played in three (Ryder Cup) matches but we are never going to find a captain in Europe whose stature, record and career can begin to compare with Tom Watson," he wrote. "We have to look at it as a bit of a David and Goliath affair. No one is expecting Paul to go toe-to-toe with Tom – he can't – Paul just needs to be Paul."

Poulter also said the European players might have objected had McGinley, who has been a captain in the Seve Trophy and a vice-captain in the last two Ryder Cups, not been given the job.

"It would have upset a lot of people as well as some of the players – and that becomes a very dangerous thing to do," said Poulter. "It is going to be such a close match, the last thing in the world that Europe needs or wants is to start the week with a few players not in the best of moods.

"As players we thought Paul was the best man for the job," he explained, "and that's why many of us made a public stand for him in the days leading up to the decision because we thought it was the right thing to do."

 

February 14, 2013 - 1:08pm
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Kangaroos on LPGA
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LPGA golfer Karrie Webb waits until the fairway clears - of kangaroos.

If a photo tells a thousand words - well, I have nothing much to add.  Play, during the LPGA Tour's season-opening Women's Australian Open, was interrupted and delayed as kangaroos decided to play through.  

Hopping good time? 

Follow me on Twitter at @JohnKim_10

February 14, 2013 - 11:59am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Graeme McDowell
Srixon
Graeme McDowell probably shouldn't be in the octagon with a cage-fighter... and you probably shouldn't be hitting the same golf ball as McDowell.

 

 
As if right on cue, Grame McDowell just tweeted a sneak-peak to his new Srixon commercial with Peter Jacobsen and an MMA cage fighter.
 
Huh?
 
The premise of the commercial is that while most of us like to think that we should be hitting the same golf ball as the best players in the world, chances are we shouldn't be -- just like McDowell, who Jacobsen says has been taking Karate lessons, probably shouldn't be in the octagon with a professional cage fighter.
 
That's why, Jacobsen tells us, we should be playing the new Srixon Q-Star golf ball. 
 
So, if you want to see McDowell get slammed on the mat, click here.
 
Too bad we didn't have an honorable mention section for the golf commercial piece. This one would have made it.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
February 14, 2013 - 9:14am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Northern Trust Open
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The Northern Trust Open takes place this week at Riviera Country Club, where Bill Haas won in a playoff a year ago.

 

Richard Langford, a featured columnsist for BleacherReport.com, put together a nice primer to get you prepared for the start of the Northern Trust Open, which begins today at Riviera Country Club.
 
Langford offers up some things to watch and highlights the tee times and TV broadcast times.
 
Have a look for yourself at Langford's piece here.
February 14, 2013 - 2:37am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Jesper Parnevik, Mario Lopez, Maria Menounos and James Hahn
Kristy Owens of Cobra Golf via Twitter
James Hahn (right) and fellow player Jesper Parnevik (left) put in some "Extra" work with co-hosts Mario Lopez and Maria Menounos on Wednesday at Riviera.

I don't often see the TV show ''Extra.'' In fact, I can't honestly say I remember what time or even what channel it's on. But I might have to find it next Monday.

Why? Because the ''Extra'' crew spent part of Wednesday out at the Northern Trust Open, where they hung out with James Hahn. The PGA Tour rookie, of course, made every newscast in America a couple weeks ago, when he broke out the ''Gangnam Style'' moves on the notorious par-3 16th hole during the Phoenix Open.

And that – not Tiger Woods' runaway victory at Torrey Pines or Phil Mickelson's near-59 in Phoenix or Brandt Snedeker's big win at Pebble Beach – caught the ''Extra'' crew's attention.

But hey, ''Extra'' is an entertainment program, not a golf show, so catching up with Hahn makes perfect sense. And hey, seeing golfers on ''Extra'' is a darn sight better than seeing them on ''TMZ.'' Am I right?

Cobra Golf PR rep Kristy Owens ‏tweeted out the photo above late Wednesday, showing Hahn (far right), with Cobra's Jesper Parnevik (left) and ''Extra’s'' Mario Lopez and Maria Menounos (I triple-checked how to spell ''Menounos.'') Hahn also tweeted about his day, saying it was is first experience filming for ''Extra'' and telling us to tune in to see who wins the putting competition they had.

His hashtags cracked me up, too. He closed his twitter post with #ganghahnstyle and #asianbradpitt. Too bad he only had 140 characters, or he could've added "breakoutstar."