Golf Buzz

May 27, 2015 - 11:58am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Brandt Snedeker
USA Today Sports Images
Brandt Snedeker has been one of the most consistently solid players on the PGA Tour this season.

The PGA Tour completes its Texas two step this week with a stop in Irving for the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons Resort.

Brendon Todd returns as the defending champion and will square off against the likes of Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker and Keegan Bradley.

Before the tournament tees off on Thursday morning, here's a look at the five players you'll want to keep an eye on.

RELATED: AT&T Byron Nelson tee times | Celebrating Sam Snead | Q&A with Davis Love III

5. Ryan Palmer
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T2 at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Reason to watch: This is a home game for Palmer. He lost here in a playoff during the 2011 tournament to Keegan Bradley, who went on to win the PGA Championship later that summer. Palmer comes into this week having missed the cut in each of his last two starts. Some home cooking and a course where he's played well previously could lead to a positive week.

4. Brandt Snedeker
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Reason to watch: Snedeker has easily been one of the best players on the PGA Tour this season, rattling off five top-10 finishes, including a win and last week's runner-up showing at Colonial. Snedeker missed the cut at the Byron Nelson last year, his first start in the event since 2007. I think he'll rebound just fine this time around, carrying the momentum he gained from a great tournament at Colonial a week ago, where he went 67-66 on the weekend.

3. Dustin Johnson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the WGC-Cadillac Championship
Reason to watch: It's been a couple of weeks now since Johnson finished in a disappointing tie for 69th at TPC Sawgrass in the Players Championship, where he was believed by many to be a favorite. Johnson is one of those players who doesn't stay down for too long. I don't expect him to follow up one poor start with another. When you consider that and the fact that he's had three top-seven finishes at the Byron Nelson, I just don't see Johnson having a bad week... in fact, I instead see it being a great one.

2. Jimmy Walker
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Valero Texas Open
Reason to watch: Since his win in San Antonio back in March, Walker has been surprisingly in a bit of a slump. His four starts since that victory look like this: T38, Masters; T52, WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship; Missed Cut, Players Championship; and T65 at Colonial. That's not the Jimmy Walker we've come to expect these last three seasons on the PGA Tour. For that reason, I'm chalking it up to an abberation. He's played OK at the Byron Nelson in the past, but I think he'll break out of his mini-slump this week.

1. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Valspar Championship and the Masters
Reason to watch: Now, on to the main attraction. These days, it seems Spieth can do no wrong. Livid after a missed cut at the Players Championship, Spieth bounced back with a tie for second last week at Colonial. The Texas native recently admitted that he's treating the Colonial and Byron Nelson tournaments as majors. With bookend rounds of 64-65 last week, it appears he wasn't kidding. I can't think of a bigger fan favorite this week. It's going to be wild if Spieth is in the mix come late Sunday. Trust me.

Here's how my five to watch fared last week at Colonial:

5. Robert Streb -- T19
4. Chris Kirk -- Winner
3. Zach Johnson -- T19
2. Jordan Spieth -- T2
1. Adam Scott -- T24 

May 27, 2015 - 10:58am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
sam snead
PGA of America Archive
Sam Snead, a seven-time major champion and the PGA Tour's most prolific winner with 82 career victories, would have turned 103 years old today.

The most prolific winner in PGA Tour history, Sam Snead, would have been 103 years old today.

Nicknamed, "Slammin' Sammy" for what many perceived to be the perfect golf swing, the seven-time major champion (3 Masters, 1 British Open, 3 PGA Championships) was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, and received the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.

In 1973, Snead became the oldest player to make a cut in a U.S. Open at age 61.

RELATED: Q&A with U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III | Latest U.S. Ryder Cup points

In the 1974 PGA Championship, a 62-year-old Snead remarkably tied for third, three strokes behind winner Lee Trevino. It was Snead's third straight top-10 in the PGA Championship and the last time he found himself in contention at a major.

He shot a final round 68 at the 1974 PGA Championship to finish tied for third, three strokes behind winner Lee Trevino. At age 62, it was Snead's third consecutive top-10 finish at the PGA Championship, but his last time in contention at a major.

Snead is also a six-time Senior PGA Champion and a three-time U.S. Ryder Cup Captain.

On May 23, 2002 -- just four days before his 90th birthday -- Snead died following complications from a stroke.

Among Snead's incredible list of accomplishments on the PGA Tour:

- Most PGA Tour victories at an event: 8 at the Greater Greensboro Open (1938, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1965); tied by Tiger Woods at the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational and 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
- Oldest player to make a cut on the PGA Tour: age 67 years, 2 months, 21 days at the 1979 Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic.
- Only player to post a top-10 finish in at least one major championship in five different decades.

Snead hit the honorary opening tee shot at the Masters from 1984-2002. Gene Sarazen joined Snead on the first tee at Augusta National until 1991 and Byron Nelson until 2001.

Here are some great Sam Snead quotes:

- "Practice puts brains in your muscles."

- "Of all the hazards, fear is the worst."

- "These greens are so fast I have to hold my putter over the ball and hit it with the shadow."

- "Forget your opponents; always play against par." 

May 26, 2015 - 2:46pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Rory McIlroy
European Tour/Twitter
You know that hole-in-one jig Miguel Angel Jimenez has been doing lately? Well, Rory McIlroy can do it too.

On Saturday, Miguel Angel Jimenez set a new European Tour record with his 10th career hole-in-one. The ace, which came during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship where he tied for second, also happened to be Jimenez's second ace in as many weeks.

As we've seen lately, when Jimenez holes out (and it's been happening a lot, not just for holes in one), he likes to celebrate with a little dance.

RELATED: Most holes in one on the PGA Tour | Hole-in-one chest bump celebration | Share your ace

Our friends at the European Tour have a new video feature called, "Season Pass," which takes you behind the scenes with some of the best players in the game.

You can check out the episode below and, if you speed ahead to the 2:31 mark, you'll see world No. 1 Rory McIlroy talking to Jimenez at an awards dinner before the start of the BMW PGA Championship and offers up the following:

 

"You're my hero. You know why? Every time I turn on the TV, you either make a hole-in-one, or you hole out and you do your little (McIlroy does Jimenez's dance). He does it every week. Every week you hole a shot."

See it for yourself here:

The coolest part of the video? Well, it was just a few days before Jimenez did this on Saturday:

 

Love it. 

May 24, 2015 - 11:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Byeong-hun An
European Tour/Twitter
The unbelievable golf shots at this week's BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour will not quit. Here Byeong-hun An nearly makes the week's second albatross.

The unbelievable golf shots at this week's BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour will not quit.

Moments after Chris Wood knocked in the tournament's fifth ace in four days, tournament leader Byeong-hun An came inches away from scoring the second albatross in two days.

RELATED: Wood scores week's fifth ace | Jimenez's record ace | Fleetwood's albatross

Here's the shot by An, who had to settle for one of those oh-so-delightful tap-in eagle putts at the par-5 12th hole:

Minutes earlier, An very nearly eagled the par-4 11th hole with this approach: 

May 24, 2015 - 10:52am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Chris Wood
European Tour Twitter Account
In a week filled with marvelous shots, Chris Wood's ace in the final round of the BMW PGA Championship was just the latest.

The holes in one keep landing in the BMW PGA Championship this week at Wentworth.

After Trevor Fisher Jr. made the fourth hole-in-one of the week at the tournament early Sunday morning, Chris Wood made the tournament's fifth ace with a 7-iron from 188 yards on the par-3 14th hole and won a BMW i8 just a few hours later.

RELATED: Jimenez makes second ace in as many weeks | Giant sinkhole on Branson course

Here's the shot:

 

As if the five aces weren't enough (a new BMW PGA record, by the way), the tournament also had an albatross in the third round when Tommy Fleetwood holed this shot with a 7-iron from 195 yards at the par-5 fourth hole:

 

What a week for incredible golf shots.

Hal Sutton
PGA of America
Hal Sutton won the 1983 PGA Championship at Riviera Country Club. He currently holds the record for most holes in one on PGA Tour with 10.

The awlays entertaining Miguel Angel Jimenez made both SportsCenter and changes to the European Tour record book Saturday with his 10th hole-in-one in European Tour play. The tee shot from 148 yards at the BMW PGA Championship was followed by a trademark holstering of his iron followed by a little dance.

READ: College golfer passes on $10,000 hole-in-one prize

The ace meant Jimenez surpassed Colin Montgomerie at nine.

Those are two of the more well-known players of course, both currently at No. 4 and No. 6 on the European Tour career money list.

The top 10 on the PGA Tour certainly contains well-known players, but none are names that might be first guessed if this was a trivia question at your neighborhood pizza joint.

MORE: Share your hole in one

Tops on the list, equaling Jimenez, is Hal Sutton with 10. The PGA Champion last had an ace in the 2003 Bank of America Colonial.

Here's the rest of the top 15, according the PGA Tour Media Guide.

  • Robert Allenby, 9
  • Hubert Green, 8
  • Gil Morgan, 8
  • Scott Hoch, 7
  • Corey Pavin, 7
  • Bob Tway, 7
  • Lanny Wadkins, 7
  • Willie Wood, 7
  • Gibby Gilbert, 6
  • Billy Mayfair, 6
  • Rocco Mediate, 6
  • Charles Howell III, 6
  • Larry Rinker, 6
  • Loren Roberts, 6 

For many, noticeably absent are players such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, even though it's probaby understood that lifetime achievement isn't really connected to a shot that relies on such chance. Mickelson has five on the PGA Tour, Nicklaus and Woods three and Palmer two. Woods had three in consecutive years in the late 90s, but hasn't connected on the PGA Tour since the 1998 Sprint Invitational. By the way, youngster Jordan Spieth is already at 1 with an ace in the 2013 Puerto Rico Open.