Golf Buzz

August 8, 2016 - 1:06pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Al Geiberger
@PGATOUR on YouTube
On June 10, 1977 -- 39 years ago today -- Al Geiberger became the first player in PGA Tour history to card a score of 59.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on June 10, 2016.

It's almost unfathomable to imagine a PGA Tour player winning a non-major without a single round in the 60s, isn't it?

But 39 years ago this week, that's precisely what Al Geiberger did in the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic. In fact, only two of Geiberger's four rounds were under par that week on the par-72 layout at Colonial Country Club (not to be confused with the club of the same name in Fort Worth, Texas).

Geiberger's 15-under 273 total was the winning mark.

Only two sub-par rounds -- neither in the 60s -- and a 15-under total, you say? How is that possible?

It's possible because on this very day -- June 10 -- 39 years ago in 1977, Geiberger carded the PGA Tour's first score of 59 (11 birdies, 1 eagle) in the second round of that tournament.

It should be noted that the lift, clean and place provision was in place during that round, but as Geiberger -- an 11-time PGA Tour winner and a member of winning U.S. Ryder Cup teams in 1967 and 1975 -- told Bill Fields at Golf Digest a few years back, that didn't matter.

"We were playing improved lies, but I don't ever remember doing it," the 1966 PGA Champion Geiberger told Fields on the 35th anniversary. "As you came off every tee, there was a dip in the terrain where they had winter kill. But the fairways, where we were playing to, were pretty nice. I think the field staff didn't want to go chalk off every canyon. Most of the low areas that were damaged, we were playing over those."

 

If your a cynic about a sub-60 score with lift, clean and place -- and, seriously, who are we to judge -- give all the credit in the world to Geiberger for what he accomplished on the bumpy, grainy Bermuda greens.

Along with hitting every fairway and every green that day, Geiberger also used just 23 putts to become golf's "Mr. 59." Of those 23 putts, nine were birdie putts outside of 10 feet -- 166 feet of birdie putts overall.

Now are you impressed?

As it can be this time of year, the weather was a bit steamy in Memphis that day with temperatures topping out at 97 degrees.

"It was a miserable day, hotter than hell, and I was trying regroup, collect my thoughts," Geiberger told Fields.

Here's a down-the-line look at Geiberger's rhythmic swing:

Since Geiberger's magical 59, there have been just five others on the PGA Tour [editor: before Jim Furyk's 58] Chip Beck (Sunrise GC in 1991); David Duval (PGA West Palmer Course in 1999); Paul Goydos (TPC Deere Run in 2010); Stuart Appleby (TPC Old White in 2010); and Jim Furyk (Conway Farms in 2013).

Annika Sorenstam remains the only player in LPGA history to shoot 59. She did it at the Standard Register PING tournament in 2001. 

August 3, 2016 - 12:02pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
Tommy Morrissey, pinehurst resort
YouTube / Pinhurst1895
Five-year-old Tommy Morrissey can do some spot-on impersonations of the swings of golf greats.

Tommy Morrissey is already a sensation. The 5-year-old golfer, who was born with one arm, has made headlines across the country and gotten to play and meet Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and more.

His legend continues to grow, including qualifying for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships this week at Pinehurst.

Leading up to the event, Pinehurst brought Morrissey to its golf academy to check out his incredible swing. Young Tommy did not disappoint, pulling out imitations of some of the most recognizable golf swings in the game, including Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, and even Arnold Palmer.

Most importantly, Morrissey and his father never seems to lose sight of just how much fun the game can be.

 

 

 

August 3, 2016 - 10:19am
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
bubba watson, olympics, golf shoes
Twitter / BubbaWatson
As you'd expect, Bubba Watson is looking to make a splash at the Olympics, unveiling some crazy American-flag themed golf shoes.

With all four majors of the season behind us, the focus of the golf world turns to pride for country with the Olympics this month and the Ryder Cup in September.

For someone like Bubba Watson, that means a lot of time representing the red, white, and blue. And the man that brought us the golf cart hovercraft and then the golf cart jetpack wasn't going to simply let that opportunity pass by without some extravagent something.

That something was revealed to us on Bubba's Twitter page.

The trend of high-top golf shoes has been going around recently, seen on such players as Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy. But I don't think it's ever been done quite like this.

With these walking American flags on his feet, Bubba Watson is going to be hard to miss at the Olympics in Rio.

July 28, 2016 - 3:09pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
@tom_kocks on Instagram
This is one of the most dangerous trick shots we've ever seen.

This is one of the most dangerous trick shots we've ever seen.

According to The Big Lead, this is Tom Kocks -- golf coach at Indiana Tech -- going all "Happy Gilmore" with a wedge. No big deal, right? Except for the terrifying fact that there's a young man standing right in front of Kocks.

Check it out:

 

Happy Gilmore short game. #trickshottuesday

A video posted by Tom Kocks (@tom_kocks) on

Thank goodness that went over his head. My palms are sweating. 

July 24, 2016 - 10:21am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
PGA Junior League Golf
PGA
Two players in a PGA Junior League Golf match on Friday night -- John Berrigan, 10 and Harrison Mancill, 13 -- made back-to-back holes in one.

This just might be the coolest golf story to cross our desk all year long.

Harrison Mancill, 13, and John Berrigan, 10, did something amazing on Friday night. In the final match for two Hilton Head PGA Junior League Golf teams at the Country Club of Hilton Head (Country Club of Hilton Head #2 vs. Wexford Plantation), the pair had back-to-back holes in one on the 89-yard, par-3 fifth hole.

RELATED: Four aces in one day at same course in same tournament

The National Hole in One Registry sets the odds of two players from the same foursome acing the same hole at 17 million to one.

Not bad for two kids whose combined age is one year older than Jordan Spieth.

Mancill was the first to score an ace, dropping the ball in the hole with a wedge. Berrigan, representing the Wexford team, immediately answered with his 9-iron shot.

Mancill is the son of PGA Member Jim Mancill from Sapelo Hammock Golf Club in Shellman Bluff, Ga. 

July 23, 2016 - 3:04pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
garrett rank
USA Today Sports Images
28-year-old NHL referee and cancer survivor Garrett Rank made the cut this week at the RBC Canadian Open playing as an amateur.

If the visionary and prophetic film "Happy Gilmore" taught us anything, I guess it's that hockey and golf aren't too far apart.

At least I think that's what Garrett Rank would say, a 28-year-old amateur golfer and professional hockey referee from Elmire, Ontario, who just made the cut at the RBC Canadian Open.

His full-time job is as an NHL referee, after being promoted from the minor leagues earlier this year. But with it being the offseason and all, Rank is up for a little golf. After qualifying for the tournament by winning the 2015 Mid Amateur Championship, he proceeded to fire off rounds of 69 and 75 to make the cut at even par.

He spoke with PGATour.com to explain how he keeps his game sharp during the season.

“I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t take my clubs with me when I was on the road,” he said with a big smile. “I think it helps me and makes it a little easier for me because I know that this isn’t the end of the world, whether I shot 65 or 75.”

Amazingly, that's not even the most incredible part. Rank was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011, but overcame it and maintains the physical shape required to be both a referee and a world-class amateur golfer.

I don't know about you, but I know who I'm rooting for this weekend at Glen Abbey.