Golf Buzz

August 25, 2013 - 9:22pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Tiger Woods at The Barclays
Getty Images
Tiger Woods said his back spasmed "big time" at The Barclays on Sunday.

Tiger Woods has played significant portions of his career dealing with injuries – you could argue that his ''one-legged'' playoff victory in the 2008 U.S. Open is one of his greatest moments. Even so, it was a little bit shocking to see Tiger go the ground when his back spasmed on the 13th hole of the final round of The Barclays on Sunday.

As you can see in the photo above – and as you might have seen on TV – Woods took a cut and, as Associated Press Golf Writer Doug Ferguson described it, ''hooked a fairway metal so far left that it landed in a swamp on the other side of the 15th fairway. Woods dropped to all fours in pain before slowly getting up.''

Woods also bogeyed the 15th hole, then, as Ferguson said, ''gamely fought back with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to get within one.'' 

Needing one final birdie to get into a playoff with Adam Scott, Woods' putt from off the 18th green came up just short.

Woods battled stiffness in his lower back all week, which he attributed to a soft bed in his hotel room, said Ferguson, who noted that this was the second straight year Woods has had back issues from a mattress at The Barclays. TV viewers often saw Woods wincing in pain and trying to stretch his back throughout the tournament, but nothing seemed serious until his incident on the 13th hole.

After his round, Woods said that his spasming actually began on his tee shot in the 12th hole, and ''13 just kind of accentuated it.''  

When asked if his problem was a back spasm, he replied, ''Oh, yeah, big time. It's definitely spasming.''

Woods said he ''felt great'' Sunday until that tee shot on the 12th hole. ''I was perfectly fine,'' he said. ''I was playing pretty good, and I was hanging right there.''

The next FedExCup playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship outside of Boston, is a big supporter of the Tiger Woods Foundation, but Woods didn't sound sure that he'd play. When asked Sunday afternoon, he said, ''That's all hypothetical right now. I just got off and I'm not feeling my best right now.''

By tying for second at The Barclays, Woods keeps his No. 1 playoff seed. After the Deutsche Bank Championship, the PGA Tour has an open week before the BMW Championship Sept. 12-15 in Lake Forest, Ill., followed by the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sept. 19-22.

 

August 23, 2013 - 7:21pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Kenny Perry's Adams Golf driver
Courtesy of Adams Golf
Kenny Perry's Adams Super LS driver was reassembled by Adams Golf technician Scott Kraul.

The life of a tour pro might sound glamorous, but if you follow some of them on social media you quickly realize that they endure the same hassles as the rest of us (except for those lucky dogs who fly private all the time). Flight delays, cancellations and lost luggage happen to most of them at some point and, as is often the case, these problems always seem to happen at the worst possible times.

Mostly, the inconveniences are just that – inconvenient. Occasionally, though, they become truly problematic. That's the situation Kenny Perry finds himself in this week. He and his luggage made it from central New York to Seattle for the Boeing Classic, but somewhere along the way the shaft of his Adams driver was snapped right where the hosel meets the head.

This wasn't just any driver, either – it's ''the one I won all of my tournaments with this year,'' Perry told The Seattle Times after he discovered the broken big stick in his bag. ''It broke the head right off the shaft.''

Perry was upset, needless to say, in large part because he attributes much of his success this season to his driving prowess. And he has been quite successful – he won two senior majors – the U.S. Senior Open and the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in back-to-back starts. He's amassed nine top-10 finishes in 13 starts this season, and is dominating the Charles Schwab Cup points list.

Adams Golf technicians on-site at TPC Snoqualmie were able to get Perry squared away, reshafting his Super LS 10.5-degree driver with a UST Mamiya VTS silver 60g X flex shaft. Now, it's up to Perry to get the confidence in his driving game back.

''I've been bombing it,'' Perry told the newspaper. ''I've been taking advantage of all the short holes and the par 5s. But that's the only driver I've used all year.''

The irony in this situation is that Perry, like many Adams staff players, is sponsored by Southwest Airlines. His clubs were in a Southwest Airlines-festooned bag – and the big break occurred while Perry was flying Delta.

 

August 22, 2013 - 9:51pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Dave Stockton
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Two-time PGA Championship winner Dave Stockton will share his insights on putters with Nike Golf.

No one has been more in demand than Dave Stockton as a short-game instructor in recent years. Now, he's getting a chance to influence flatsticks as well as those who use them.

Stockton has signed on with Nike Golf, where he will assist in product development and design – specifically in the realm of putters. 

''I'm thrilled to be a part of what I believe is one of the most innovative brands in sports,'' said Stockton. ''I look forward to sharing my putter insights with Nike engineers so they can continue to create amazing product that help golfers putt better.''  

Stockton, who received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from The PGA of America, already serves as putting instructor for some of golf's biggest names, including Nike Golf staff players Rory McIlroy and Suzann Pettersen. His list of students, past and present, also includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Morgan Pressel, Annika Sorenstam and Yani Tseng. 

He runs his own golf instruction program, Stockton Golf, with his two sons, Ron and Dave Jr. His book, ''Unconscious Putting,'' quickly became a best-seller after its 2011 release, and he followed it up with a sequel, ''Unconscious Scoring,'' earlier this year. He won the PGA Championship in 1970 and 1976, along with nine other PGA Tour titles and 14 Champions Tour victories, played on four victorious U.S. Ryder Cup teams, and captained the 1991 Ryder Cup team to victory.

 

August 22, 2013 - 10:30am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Brandt Snedeker
Twitter
Here's a look at the special gift Brandt Snedeker and wife Mandy got for Hunter and Kandi Mahan's baby, Zoe.
 
PING gave Hunter a beautiful gold-plated putter typically reserved for PING staffers who win tournaments, with his daughter's name and date of birth inscribed on the face.
 
On Thursday, Snedeker's wife Mandy revealed via Twitter the special gift they sent to the Mahan's for baby Zoe.
 
Snedeker, of course, went on to win the RBC Canadian Open that Mahan left early (when leading) to be in Texas for Zoe's birth. Snedeker joked afterward that he'd be getting the Mahan's a special baby gift. Kandi Mahan jokingly (we think) suggested recently that college tuition would be a nice gesture from the Snedekers.
 
Well, as you can see in the photo above, the Snedekers didn't quite go that far. Give them credit though... pretty clever.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 
August 21, 2013 - 5:25pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ben Crane
YouTube
Ben Crane in his latest rap video, "Bubble Boy."
Ben Crane, who along with fellow PGA Tour stars Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan make up the golf boy band (?), 'The Golf Boys,' has decided to go solo in his latest project.
 
Crane, the final player to qualify for the PGA Tour FedExCup Playoffs at No. 125, takes to rapping in his latest effort about what it's like to be the, "Bubble Boy."
 
 
Here's the description Crane has on the video:
 
At 125th in the FedEx Cup Rankings, I barely snuck into the Playoffs. The Twittersphere has been calling me "Bubble Boy" all week. It inspired this song from Mat Kearney, performed by me.
 
We've got to admit, while it might not be quite as funny as earlier Crane videos, the man deserves kudos for being able to laugh at his current situation. Perhaps it will loosen him up on this pressure-filled week? 
 
We'll see.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 
August 21, 2013 - 12:13pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
PING
Here is the gold-plated putter PING made for Hunter Mahan to celebrate the birth of Mahan's daughter Zoe.
In late July, Hunter Mahan famously left the RBC Canadian Open -- while leading -- moments before the start of his third round to head home to his wife, Kandi, in Texas after learning she had gone into labor with the couple's first child.
 
Mahan made it home in time to witness the birth of his little girl, Zoe Olivia.
 
As a gift to the Mahan's, PING (Mahan's club sponsor) presented Hunter with a gold-played Scottsdale TR Anser putter on the practice green Tuesday at Liberty National, where the Barclays Championship is taking place this week.
 
 
Ping Golf, maker of all 14 of Mahan's clubs, traditionally presents the winner of professional events with a gold-plated replica of the putter used to earn the victory. (Solid gold putters are given for wins in majors.) However, to celebrate the Mahans' joyful arrival, the company decided to give Hunter a gold-plated Scottsdale TR Anser 2 putter on the practice green Tuesday at Liberty National Golf Club, site of this week's Barclays Championship.
 
"We'll never know if Hunter would have held on to win that week," said John Solheim, Ping's chairman & CEO, in a statement. "But the circumstances were so unique, we wanted to create a lasting memory for Hunter, Kandi and Zoe that would forever remind them of that special day. The birth of a child is a win any way you look at it, so we thought we'd have some fun with it."
 
Another gold-plated Scottsdale TR Anser 2 putter also will permanently reside in Ping's gold putter vault – along with more than 2,800 Ping putters – inside the company's Phoenix headquarters.
 
"This goes way above and beyond, guys," Mahan said when Chance Cozby and Matt Rollins, Ping's head PGA Tour reps, gave him the club. "Way above and beyond."
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.