Golf Buzz

February 8, 2015 - 9:43am
mark.aumann's picture

Billy Casper, a three-time major winner and captain of the 1979 United States Ryder Cup Team, died of a heart attack Saturday in Utah. He was 83.

Casper, who won 51 PGA Tour events, was never considered equal to the game's "Big Three" of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. However, based on the outpouring of emotion Sunday after learning of his death, Casper was a much-beloved and underrated player, mentor and person.

PGA of America President Derek Sprague issued this statement Sunday:

"The PGA of America is saddened to learn of the passing of PGA Member Billy Casper. He was a true champion, an incredible ambassador for the game and a wonderful gentleman. So much so, that we recognized Billy with our highest honor—the PGA Distinguished Service Award in 2010. We always looked forward to our reunions with Billy at the Ryder Cup. He loved the event which he Captained in 1979 and in which he earned more points than any other American player. We were fortunate to have him in our lives, and we will never forget his contributions to the game."

Other prominent figures took to social media to express their thoughts and gratitude:


JIM HUBER: Billy Casper's legacy more than golf




MORE: Casper's heartfelt speech after receiving 2010 PGA Distinguished Service Award




The ultimate tribute may have come from Jack Nicklaus, who shared these words on his Facebook account:

“Billy Casper was one of the greatest family men—be it inside the game of golf or out—I have had the fortunate blessing to meet. He had such a wonderful balance to his life. Golf was never the most important thing in Billy’s life—family was. There was always much more to Billy Casper than golf. But as a golfer, Billy was a fantastic player, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for being one. I have said many times that during my career, when I looked up at a leaderboard, I wasn’t just looking to see where a Palmer or a Player or a Trevino was. I was also checking to see where Billy Casper was.

"Billy had tremendous confidence. He just believed in himself. You knew when you played against Billy Casper, Billy would not beat himself. You want to talk about someone who could perform under pressure, if you wanted someone to get up and-down for you, Billy Casper was your man. I think it is fair to say that Billy was probably under-rated by those who didn’t play against him. Those who did compete against him, knew how special he was.

“More important than what Billy Casper gave us inside the ropes, he has been so selfless outside them. He has always been so steadfast and committed to his family, his religion, his community, and his unwavering beliefs. And he never asked for anything in return. It was not even a year ago, someone asked Billy how he wanted to remembered, and he said, ‘I want to be remembered for how I loved my fellow man.’

“Over the last 15 to 20 years, my friendship with Billy blossomed. We had a number of common threads, but the one that truly connected us was our love of family and those shared values. It was a genuine treat every time I saw Billy and that smile on his face. Because I knew I was about to talk to a dear friend. I—we—lost a true friend tonight. Barbara and I send out our most heartfelt prayers and love to Shirley, their kids, and all those loving grandkids and great grandkids who tonight are wrapping their arms around the loving memories of a wonderful man.”

February 7, 2015 - 6:36pm
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Jason Day
Jason Day can't believe his shot went in the hole for an eagle.

Eagles were landing everywhere at Torrey Pines during a 10-minute stretch Saturday: from bunkers, fairways and greens.

No fewer than three PGA Tour pros found the bottom of the cup on two holes.

ONE ACE: Chad Campbell makes hole-in-one on No. 3

Lucas Glover was in the bunker at the 18th, and did this from 46 feet away:



Daniel Berger had a pretty tough time of it Saturday, but finished with two shots he'll remember longer than his score:



Then Jason Day stepped up from 143 yards out on No. 17 and did this:



Day couldn't believe the shot actually went in the cup, as you can see from his reaction.

February 7, 2015 - 2:41pm
mark.aumann's picture

Chad Campbell had no trouble getting himself off to a tremendous start in Saturday's third round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

ONE WEEK AGO: Francesco Molinari's ace at TPC Scottsdale

Facing a 143-yard downhill shot from an elevated tee on the par-3 third hole, Campbell took aim and proceeded to do this:



It was Campbell's third ace on the PGA Tour.

February 7, 2015 - 11:23am
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Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones at the top of his backswing in a 1930 slow-motion film.

Thanks to today's technology -- and a tip of the hat to the folks at CinePost via YouTube -- we have the opportunity to view Bobby Jones' incredible golf swing in slow motion, a feat that had to have been state-of-the-art back in 1930.

According to the original introduction cards on the 16 millimeter print, the swings were filmed at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Jones' home course. The action is approximately 200 times slower than normal speed -- the camera was able to capture 3,200 images per second. The PGA of America commissioned cameraman C. Francis Jenkins to film Jones in action, apparently for later use as a teaching tool.

Watch as Jones hits a driver and long iron:

Today's golfers could learn a thing or two from Jones' balance and rhythmic swing, captured 85 years ago.

Steph Curry
USA Today Sports Images
NBA all-star point guard Steph Curry daydreams about golf during his games - but, he promises, only when he's on the bench.
Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about golf when you're at work? Me, too – and I work in golf.
You know else does that? Steph Curry, the all-star point guard for the Golden State Warriors. He admitted it in a recent interview for "In-Depth with Graham Bensinger," and blamed one such occurrence on none other than Bubba Watson.
During a game in Orlando, Curry noted that Watson was sitting courtside across from the Warriors' bench. While he was on the bench – and not while he was in the game, he stressed – Curry said he began "picturing myself what would it be like being Bubba Watson, playing in the Masters, playing the best courses in the world."
Curry, who learned the game from his father – longtime NBA player Dell Curry – as a kid growing up in Charlotte, also revealed that swing tips sometimes pop into his head while he's on the bench or during timeouts.
Surprised? Don't be – Curry is a self-admitted golf freak, who says that at times during the offseason he can even play some scratch golf.
"In the offseason, I have a very defined golf schedule," in which he plays three or four times a week, he explained. "I'm very competitive, but golf is a game that keeps you humble and i really appreciate that."
During the NBA season, however, Curry's golf game necessarily goes on a bit of a hiatus. 
"I only play three times or so during the season," he said. "You're traveling and with practice schedules and games, it's tough to find that two-, three-, four-hour block of time to go play."
As you might expect, Curry's game diminishes "pretty significantly" during the basketball season. And ironically, he says, his first round of the offseason is usually his best round. 
"That," he laughed, "gets my hopes up."
The video isn't embeddable, but you can see more of Curry talking golf with Bensinger on
February 6, 2015 - 11:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Sunday's withdrawal from the Honda Classic marked the sixth time in his professional career that Tiger Woods has withdrawn from a PGA Tour event.

Tiger Woods withdrew after playing 11 holes in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday, citing back pain caused in part by a weather delay for coastal fog in La Jolla, Calif.

Woods's early exit marked the eighth time in his PGA Tour career that he's withdrawn from a tournament and the sixth time he's done so in the last five seasons. That number is nine if you include the 1995 U.S. Open, where a then 19-year-old Woods -- an amateur at the time -- withdrew after injuring his wrist while playing a shot from deep rough at Shinnecock Hills.

READ: Tiger Woods's future cloudier after latest injury | List: Tiger Woods' injuries

Here is a breakdown of Woods's withdrawals on the PGA Tour, in chronological order:

- 1998: Woods withdraws before the start of the Kemper Open due to a back injury

- 2006: Woods withdraws before teeing off in the third round of the Nissan Open citing the flu

- 2010: Woods withdraws from the Players Championship after eight holes in the final round citing a neck injury

- 2011: Woods withdraws after nine holes in the first round of the Players Championship citing a knee injury

- 2012: Woods withdraws from the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral after 12 holes in the final round citing a left leg injury

- 2014: Woods withdraws after 13 holes in the final round of the Honda Classic citing lower back spasms

2014: Woods withdraws after eight holes in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational, citing lower back spasms. 

- 2015: Woods withdraws after 11 holes in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open, citing back pain.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.