Golf Buzz

Rory McIlroy and Jamie Dornan
Circular Soccer via YouTube
Rory McIlroy (right) used his athleticism to edge "50 Shades of Grey" star Jamie Dornan (far left) in Circular Soccer.
 
Rory McIlroy might not have won the Masters on Sunday, but he appears to be a champion at Circular Soccer.
 
Never heard of Circular Soccer? Well, me neither until today. Individuals or small teams can play, and the object is to shoot a soccer ball into a three-sided "Tri-Goal" set up in the middle of the field. FIFA, soccer's worldwide governing body, is said to be exploring it as a way to get kids into the game, and I can see how it would be a good training aid as well.
 
 
Anyway, two of its early adopters are Rory McIlroy and his fellow Norther Irishman Jamie Dornan, who is most famous for his recent role as Christan Grey in "50 Shades of Grey." The two squared off for a quick game, and McIlroy – an avid fan of both soccer and rugby – displayed some fancy footwork in defeating his countryman in their light-hearted match.
 
Check out the highlights: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods apparently suffered no serious injury on Sunday at the Masters, and said "I really like what I'm doing" with his swing.
 
One of the lasting images of Sunday's final round at the Masters was Tiger Woods crying out in pain after he hit a shot out of the pine straw on the par-4 ninth hole at Augusta National.
 
After his round, Woods explained that he had hit a tree root and jarred his right wrist. "A bone kind of popped out and the joint kind of went out of place," he said, "but I put it back in."
 
Today, Woods' agent Mark Steinberg confirmed that his wrist "is fine" in an email to Bob Harig of ESPN.com. Steinberg provided no additional details on Woods' condition, or when we might see him back in action after a Masters that seemed, all in all, pretty encouraging.
 
 
Woods hasn't said whether the injury would keep him from practicing for any length of time. " I have a little time off, and go back to the drawing board, work on it again, and refine what I'm doing" he explained immediately after his final round at Augusta. "I really like what I'm doing, I got my distance back, and everything is good."
 
He also said he wasn't planning to compete again "for a while." 
 
He isn't playing the RBC Heritage this week, and isn't expected to return until The Players Championship in early May. He might play the week after that at the Wells Fargo Championship, and traditionally plays the Memorial at the end of the May.
 
GAME GOLF
GAME GOLF
Download and play the free GAME GOLF Tracking App for a chance to win a free once-in-a-lifetime golf vacation to Ireland.

SAN FRANCISCO (April 15, 2015) -- GAME GOLF, the first wearable device that automatically tracks and graphically displays a golfer's round with valuable game data and statistics, today announced the new GAME GOLF Tracking App enabling golfers to track their game and club distances in real-time, and manage their game with a built-in GPS rangefinder, all from their iOS or Android device. No purchase of the GAME GOLF physical device is required to use the new App.

RELATED: Learn more about the GAME GOLF App

In celebration of GAME GOLF's newest free app and its Irish roots, the company is giving away a once-in-a-lifetime Irish golf vacation. Two players and one guest each, who post a minimum of three 18-hole golf rounds with either the GAME GOLF wearable device or the new GAME GOLF Tracking App from now through June 30, 2015, will be eligible to receive an all-expense paid golf trip to Ireland. For contest rules, log on to GAMEGOLF.com.

"If you don't truly understand your game it's hard to improve. The free GAME GOLF Tracking App allows golfers to see their shot performance in real-time, something which many amateur golfers will never have had access to before," said John McGuire, CEO of GAME GOLF. "Further, it affords everyone access to the GAME GOLF platform to gather stats, collect data and share their game with friends, family, coaches and instructors."

The GAME GOLF Tracking App can be downloaded and put in play just before teeing off. The App provides golfers with an aerial view of each hole, distances to key locations using the GPS Rangefinder feature, and the ability to "tag" each shot by selecting the club used. You'll be able to see -- greens in regulations, fairway accuracy, scrambling percentage, putts per hole, club distances and more. Golfers can view their platform profile and data on their mobile device or at GAMEGOLF.com.

April 15, 2015 - 10:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
Jordan Spieth, the newest Masters Champion, was just born with class. A handwritten thank-you note from when he was just 15 years old is further proof.

On Monday afternoon, I spoke to 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III about a number of different topics. One topic in particular that we spent several minutes on, was Masters champ Jordan Spieth.

Love relayed a story from four years ago when his son, Dru, a few months younger than Spieth, played a casual round with the 2015 Masters champion. Spieth and Dru Love were 17 at the time and Dru reported back to his father that Spieth was, "really, really good."

Love asked what Spieth shot. Dru told him they both shot a 66.

RELATED: Spieth wins Masters in record-tying fashion | Spieth in PGA Grand Slam of Golf

Love wondered then, what made Spieth so much better than Dru if they shot the same score. Paraphrasing, Dru told his father that while he was going to play golf in college, Spieth would be going to play golf on the PGA Tour.

Boy, did Dru get that one right.

Further in the conversation, Love said, "You know how you hear all this stuff about what a great guy Jordan is? How mature his is, etc.? You hear it a lot, right?"

I said, "Yes."

Love said, "Well let me tell you something, even though you hear it a lot, it's under-reported. He is just an unbelievable young man."

To further Love's point -- and to show that Spieth has had "it" for some time now -- The Dallas Morning News released a photo of the below handwritten thank-you note that Spieth sent in 2009, at the age of 15, to the family who funded the scholarship that helped pay his tuition.

Pure class. I loved the mention of the Masters too. Little did Spieth know (or did he?) that just six short years later, he'd be slipping into a green jacket. 

April 15, 2015 - 9:40am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Matt Kuchar
USA Today Sports Images
Matt Kuchar returns to the RBC Heritage this week as the defending champion and hoping to break out of a slump... by his standards.

A week removed from one of the most stressful, grinding weeks of the year -- the Masters -- the PGA Tour collectively exhales for the perfect post-Masters getaway to relaxing, family-oriented Hilton Head, S.C., for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town.

While players will no doubt be trying their best to claim a famous red plaid jacket for winning at Harbour Town, there will also be plenty to keep their minds away from the course once they're outside the ropes.

RELATED: RBC Heritage tee times | Spieth in PGA Grand Slam | Love talks Masters, more

Here are five players to watch at Hilton Head.

5. Boo Weekley
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T6 at the Puerto Rico Open
Reason to watch: Weekley is a three-time PGA Tour winner. Two of those victories came at the 2007 and 2008 Heritage. He has played well there several times since. There's something about Harbour Town that just fits Weekley's eye. He loves it. With missed cuts in four of his last five starts, Weekley needs something positive to happen soon. It won't hurt to be playing at a place this week where he's so comfortable.

4. Jim Furyk
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T7 at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Reason to watch: Included in Furyk's impressive 16 PGA Tour victories is the 2010 Heritage. Until last week's missed cut at the Masters, Furyk hadn't missed a PGA Tour cut since the 2013 Open Championship, a span of 34 events. I look for this week to be of the bounce-back variety for Furyk. He just always seems to finish in or around the top 10 at the Heritage. This is the perfect place for him to play immediately after a missed cut.

3. Zach Johnson
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
7th at Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Reason to watch: After tinkering with a new putter a couple of weeks ago -- it wasn't pretty -- Johnson went back to the trusty SeeMore putter at Augusta National last week, the same one that won him the 2007 Masters. With a pair of 4-under 68s on the weekend, Johnson managed to tie for ninth, which also happened to be his first top-10 at the Masters since his victory. He found something, most importantly, confidence. He's pieced together three solid starts in succession now with T9s at Augusta and Bay Hill and a T20 at the Valero Texas Open. Johnson is trending in the right direction and I think that will continue this week at a place where he was runner-up in 2012.

2. Matt Kuchar
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
T2 at Humana Challenge
Reason to watch: Kuchar has gone an almost unheard of (for him) six starts without a top-10 finish. That hasn't happened to Kuchar in a single season since May of 2009. Think about that for a minute. Let it sink in. That's off the charts golf. Because of that, I'm convinced that something's got to give. And why not this week at the RBC Heritage where Kuchar is the defending champion? Good place to end the "slump."

1. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2014-15 season:
Won the Valspar Championship and the Masters
Reason to watch: OK... with his post-Masters media blitz, this might seem like a crazy pick, but I'm riding the hot hand in Spieth. His last four starts on the PGA Tour look like this: 1-2-P2 (playoff)-1. He's more confident than he's ever been in his life, which is understandable after his record-tying performance a week ago at Augusta National. Is he running on fumes? Probably. But, I love the fact that even with his Masters win -- a life-changing event -- Spieth still honored his commitment to Harbour Town. That speaks to his character. Again, I'm sure he's tired, but look at it this way -- he's just 21 years old. Late last year, he went to Australia, won the Australian Open, hopped a plan to Florida and demolished the field in the Hero World Challenge the very next week. Spieth can handle this.

Here's how my 10 to watch fared last week at the Masters:

10. Tiger Woods -- T17
9. Jimmy Walker -- T38
8. Patrick Reed -- T22
7. Dustin Johnson -- T6
6. Adam Scott -- T38
5. Henrik Stenson -- T19
4. Jason Day -- T28
3. Jordan Spieth -- Winner
2. Rory McIlroy -- Fourth
1. Bubba Watson -- T38 

April 14, 2015 - 12:22pm
Michael.Benzie's picture